Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary TimeB

Reading 1 (Am 7:12-15)

Amaziah, priest of Bethel, said to Amos,
"Off with you, visionary, flee to the land of Judah!
There earn your bread by prophesying,
but never again prophesy in Bethel;
for it is the king's sanctuary and a royal temple."
Amos answered Amaziah, "I was no prophet,
nor have I belonged to a company of prophets;
I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores.
The LORD took me from following the flock, and said to me,
Go, prophesy to my people Israel."

Reading 2 (Eph 1:3-14)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
to be holy and without blemish before him.
In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will,
for the praise of the glory of his grace
that he granted us in the beloved.
In him we have redemption by his blood,
the forgiveness of transgressions,
in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us.
In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us
the mystery of his will in accord with his favor
that he set forth in him as a plan for the fullness of times,
to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth.

In him we were also chosen,
destined in accord with the purpose of the One
who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will,
so that we might exist for the praise of his glory,
we who first hoped in Christ.
In him you also, who have heard the word of truth,
the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him,
were sealed with the promised holy Spirit,
which is the first installment of our inheritance
toward redemption as God's possession, to the praise of his glory.

Gospel (Mk 6:7-13)

Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two
and gave them authority over unclean spirits.
He instructed them to take nothing for the journey
but a walking stick--
no food, no sack, no money in their belts.
They were, however, to wear sandals
but not a second tunic.
He said to them,
"Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave.
Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you,
leave there and shake the dust off your feet
in testimony against them."
So they went off and preached repentance.
The Twelve drove out many demons,
and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.


Fr. Anthony Dinh Minh Tien, O.P.

I. THEME: God gives us everything through Christ.

            The narrow-minded think all they are possessing come from their effort and talent; but if they study and think deeply, they shall recognize that all are God’s grace. When people recognized that they shall thank God, and do all they can to preach about God’s love so that all people shall believe and love God.

            Today readings help us to recognize that God has done everything for us through Christ. In the first reading, when was prevented to carry out the prophetic mission by the priest Amaziah. Amos corrected him that he wasn’t chosen to be a prophet; but God chose and sent him out to speak what God wants to speak. In the second reading, the author of the Letter to the Ephesians gave us a list of all major God’s grace which God bestows on people through Christ. We must understand these graces so that we can preach to people about God’s love for them. In the Gospel, Jesus selected twelve apostles to train, to empower special powers and to send them out to preach the Gospel and to heal all kinds of sickness.

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: God chose Amos and sent him out to speak for Him.

1.1/ The priest Amaziah’s reaction: Amos was born at Tekoa, a village belongs to Judah, Southern kingdom; but God chose and sent him up to carry out his prophetic mission in Israel, Northern kingdom. He lived in a very difficult period of the history of Israel (721 BC) because the king and his people turned their back to God and worshipped foreign gods. In addition to that, the Israel leaders conspired to commit crimes against the poor and their cries reached God. Amos wasn’t afraid any royal or leaders’ power, he courageously accused them of their sins and foretold that the kingdom shall be destroyed and people be on exile if they didn’t repent and return to God. This is the reason why the priest Amaziah hated him and chased him out in today passage: “Off with you, visionary, flee to the land of Judah! There earn your bread by prophesying, but never again prophesy in Bethel; for it is the king's sanctuary and a royal temple.”

1.2/ The prophet Amos’ reaction: Amos answered Amaziah: "I was no prophet, nor have I belonged to a company of prophets; I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores.The Lord took me from following the flock, and said to me, Go, prophesy to my people Israel.” Two important things which Amos mentioned in this passage:

            (1) He was chosen to be a prophet when he is working as a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores; he wasn’t volunteered to be a prophet.

            (2) He didn’t use his name to earn material benefits as Amaziah’s accusation because he was working for his living.

2/ Reading II: God gives us all graces through Christ.

2.1/ To recognize God’s graces: In the first part of today passage, St. Paul wanted the Ephesians to recognize all graces which God bestows on them through Christ: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved. In him we have redemption by his blood, the forgiveness of transgressions, in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us. In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us the mystery of his will in accord with his favor that he set forth in him as a plan for the fullness of times, to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth.”

            This is a passage which contained many revelations. We need to meditate sentence by sentence to clearly understand what God has done to people through Christ.

            (1) He let us exist in the world: The author wrote, “He chose us in him, before the foundation of the world.” St. John said it more clearly: “All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be” (Jn 1:3).

            (2) He let us know him: “In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.” God gives us opportunities to encounter Christ, physically in the mystery of the Incarnation and spiritually in the preaching of the Gospel. He also sent the Holy Spirit in human mind to enlighten them to understand Christ’s teaching and to urge them to believe in Christ. St. Paul ascertained that “And no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor 12:3b).

            (3) He helps us to become God’s children: The author wrote, “In love He destined us for adoption to Himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will.” St. John wrote, “But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name” (Jn 1:12).

            (4) He helps us to recognize God’s grace and praise Him: The author wrote, “For the praise of the glory of His grace that He granted us in the beloved.”

            (5) He helps us to become holy and pure: The author wrote, “to be holy and without blemish before him.” With Christ’s washing away our sins and the Holy Spirit’s sanctification, people can be holy and blemish before God.

            (6) He washes us clean from our sins: The author wrote, “In him we have redemption by his blood, the forgiveness of transgressions, in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us.” Without Christ, there is no way for our sins to be forgiven and be reconciled to God.

            (7) He helps us to understand God’s wisdom: The author wrote, “In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us the mystery.” Jesus came to reveal to us God’s wisdom by explain to us all of His mysteries.

            (8) He reveals to us God’s plan of salvation which is achieved through him: The author wrote, "In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us the mystery of his will in accord with his favor that he set forth in him as a plan for the fullness of times to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth."

2.2/ The prophetic vocation is for preaching of the Good News: After recognizing God’s love through what He has done for us through Christ, the faithful has a duty to preach this love for all people. St. Paul recognized that the vocation to preach the Good News wasn’t bestowed only to him, but opened up to all the faithful.

            (1) The prophetic vocation of Paul: He said, "In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the one who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we might exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped in Christ." When Paul understood what God has done to him through Christ, he spent all of his life to praise God. He also recognized that even his prophetic mission also began with Christ. He sent him to preach the Gospel, to help people to believe in Christ so that they also receive God’s graces through Christ.

            (2) The prophetic vocation of all the faithful: The author continued, "In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, which is the first installment of our inheritance toward redemption as God's possession, to the praise of his glory.”

            All the faithful, after they were baptized and inherited Christ’s inheritance, also have a duty to preach the Good News so that all people shall recognize Christ and believe in him.

3/ Gospel: He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two.

3.1/ Jesus sent his apostles out to preach the Gospel: “He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick-- no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic.” There are two distinguished ideas in this passage:

            (1) Jesus is the one who called, educated, bestowed the authority and sent the apostles to preach the Gospel, they aren’t the ones who volunteered to follow him. When the apostle preach, they preach the Gospel which they heard from Christ, not what belong to them. The power to heal and the wisdom come from God, not from them.

            (2) Preaching the Gospel is their main duty, not any other duty. To fulfill this duty, they must live a simple life; the less they rely on material things the better is their preaching. Jesus knew that when an apostle begins to rely too much on material things, he shall neglect his duty of preaching the Gospel.

3.2/ The vocation of preaching the Gospel: Two important things which Jesus’ disciples need to know:

            (1) The audience could welcome or reject the preachers of the Good News: Jesus forewarned his disciples to prepare for this when he said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.”

            God gives people freedom to recognize and to believe in the truth; He doesn’t force them to believe against their will. Similarly to Jesus’ disciples, they can’t force their audience to believe against their will. What they can do is to present the truth and all the benefits for those who shall live according to it; then they hope and pray that the audience shall believe so. If they reject the truth, the disciples shouldn’t feel sad because there are many reasons why people reject the truth, as it happened with Jesus’ audience.

            (2) The purpose of the preaching is to call people for repentance: When a disciple preaches the Gospel, he must help his audience to recognize God’s love for them and to repent from many times they turned their back to this love. It isn’t the time to entertain their audience by jokes and skits, nor to talk about politic or sport or their own expertise.

            The power to expel demons and to heal which Christ empowered them to do is for the purpose that the audience shall believe in their preaching. If understand so, these powers are only the means; they should never be substituted for the preaching of the Gospel.

           

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                     

            - All what we are possessing come from God’s love for us; we should never be proud of ourselves and despise others. We should thank God, live a good life and bring Good News to all people.

            - Preaching of the Good News is our first duty which Christ gives to us, his disciples. When we preach the Gospel, we proclaim what he taught us and help people to believe and to love him. 

Donation (credit card)

Thanks for your supporting.

Amount: