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Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Thursday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

 

Reading 1 (Isa 26:7-9, 12, 16-19)

The way of the just is smooth;
the path of the just you make level.
Yes, for your way and your judgments, O LORD,
we look to you;
Your name and your title
are the desire of our souls.
My soul yearns for you in the night,
yes, my spirit within me keeps vigil for you;
When your judgment dawns upon the earth,
the world's inhabitants learn justice.
O LORD, you mete out peace to us,
for it is you who have accomplished all we have done.

O LORD, oppressed by your punishment,
we cried out in anguish under your chastising.
As a woman about to give birth
writhes and cries out in her pains,
so were we in your presence, O LORD.
We conceived and writhed in pain,
giving birth to wind;
Salvation we have not achieved for the earth,
the inhabitants of the world cannot bring it forth.
But your dead shall live, their corpses shall rise;
awake and sing, you who lie in the dust.
For your dew is a dew of light,
and the land of shades gives birth.

Gospel (Mt 11:28-30)

Jesus said:
"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."


Fr. Anthony Dinh Minh Tien, O.P.

I. THEME: Man can’t live without God.

            A news on the internet announced a famous Korean singer and actor committed suicide at the age of 33 years old. The reason for it because he couldn’t handle the pressure from his profession and the care for his father’s terminal disease. At one time, he said to his father: “I must be a patient instead of you. I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” Not only him but so many of us also feel like him. Sometimes we felt so tired and hopeless and wanted to let it go so that whatever our life shall happen to be because we tried our best to take care of our family, community and society, but we didn’t find anyone who appreciates our works, only criticism and misunderstading from all direction.

            It is fortunate for us because today passages invite us to come to Jesus in that kind of moment so that we can rest in him and is taught by him. In the first reading, the prophet Isaiah reminded the Israelites that they must live according to God’s way in order to live peacefully. To live opposing with God’s will is to endure failure and hopelessness, as the woman conceived and writhed in pain, giving birth to wind. In the Gospel, Jesus invited all those who labor and are burdened, to come to him. He promises us one sure thing that he will give us rest.

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: “O Lord, you mete out peace to us.”

1.1/ People must live according to God’s will: God creates people and He wants them to live in the world for a purpose. Each person must pray to find out and live in a way to achieve that purpose. If people don’t find out or do in opposite with what God wants, they shall receive suffering and unrest. Many people in all generations neglected this basic knowledge. They deny God who creates and controls all things; they live according to what they thought and enjoy to the maximum what the world can offer. When they must face the pressure of life, such as: terminal disease, unemployment, divorce or death, etc., they don’t know how to handle them and to get out.

            The prophet Isaiah called the Israelites to return to this basic knowledge and to live according to their ancestor who taught them, “The way of the just is smooth; the path of the just you make level. Yes, for your way and your judgments, O Lord, we look to you; your name and your title are the desire of our souls.” How can a person know God’s will if he doesn’t spend time to study, to meditate and to search for it? The wise are those who thirst for God, search for Him and find out God’s commandments to practice in their life.

            To those who revere God, they believe that God not only creates but also controls everything for a purpose and orients all things to Him. The successful are the humble ones who obey and live according to God’s way. They believe what the prophet Isaiah taught: “O Lord, you mete out peace to us, for it is you who have accomplished all we have done.”

1.2/ People must turn to God when they face suffering: Suffering can happen to all, those who believe and don’t believe in God. The purpose of suffering is to test human faith. When people must face trial and suffering, they must come to God to be helped, they shouldn’t try to solve them by themselves.

            The prophet Isaiah used an image to illustrate the result which shall happen to those who only believe in themselves: “As a woman about to give birth writhes and cries out in her pains, so were we in your presence, O Lord. We conceived and writhed in pain, giving birth to wind; salvation we have not achieved for the earth, the inhabitants of the world cannot bring it forth.”

            Those who hoped in the Lord, even they must suffer death, God prepared for them an eternal life as Isaiah declared, “But your dead shall live, their corpses shall rise; awake and sing, you who lie in the dust. For your dew is a dew of light, and the land of shades gives birth.”

2/ Gospel: Let come to learn and to rest in Christ.

2.1/ Examination of our conscience before God: Tiredness can be from overworking (body) or too much pressure from life (spirit). Bodily tiredness can be recovered by rest; spiritual tiredness must be cured by spiritual way. Jesus showed us the way how to heal spiritual tiredness. The sacrament of the Eucharist is the most effective way to heal the spiritual tiredness. The word of God provide us peace and delete away unnecessary worriness.

            Why do we try our best without success? It might be that we don’t know the way to reach the desired result. It might be that we worried so much about the thing which we shouldn’t need to worry as such. It might be that we are doing our will, our way and for our purpose which aren’t God’s will, His way and purpose.

            It might be the time when God invites us to look back and to learn the way which shall lead to success. It might be the time when God wants us to discard what are not necessary for our life. It might be the time for us to concentrate on what are important instead of what aren’t.

2.2/ Two lessons we need to learn from our master, Jesus: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves; for my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

            (1) Meekness: This is the second beatitude. We can learn from Jesus this virtue. He is God himself; he can destroy all those who reviled, scourged and killed him because he didn’t commit of any sin, but he didn’t do that. Instead, he chose the way of forgiveness. On the cross, he prayed to the God, “Father! forgive them because they know not what they do.” He reconciled people with God and others. He taught us to love, to forgive, to pray and to do good deeds to our enemies. Human beings also like those who are meek, gentle and easy to forgive. Wickedness and revenge make us hatred by all; we shall not find true peace by getting angry with people.

            (2) Humility: is the virtue that opposes to the sin of pride. No one likes the pride and those who always show that they know everything. Humility is to know oneself in the relationship with God and others. The humble know that all they have are from God, so they shouldn’t boast with others, but use their given gifts to extend God’s kingdom and to serve others. The pride steal God’s grace and always feel unrest because they fear that others shall be better than them. They are discontent when they don’t get what they want, and angry with all people.

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                     

            - We need to learn how to work according to God’s will, way and purpose.

            - We need to rest, to conserve our energy and to learn from God.

            - Remember two important lessons which Jesus teaches us to be successful which are to be meek and humble. 

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