Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Memorial of Saint Pius X, Pope

 

Reading 1

The word of the LORD came to me: Son of man,
say to the prince of Tyre:
Thus says the Lord GOD:

Because you are haughty of heart,
you say, "A god am I!
I occupy a godly throne
in the heart of the sea!"--
And yet you are a man, and not a god,
however you may think yourself like a god.
Oh yes, you are wiser than Daniel,
there is no secret that is beyond you.
By your wisdom and your intelligence
you have made riches for yourself;
You have put gold and silver
into your treasuries.
By your great wisdom applied to your trading
you have heaped up your riches;
your heart has grown haughty from your riches?
therefore thus says the Lord GOD:
Because you have thought yourself
to have the mind of a god,
Therefore I will bring against you
foreigners, the most barbarous of nations.
They shall draw their swords
against your beauteous wisdom,
they shall run them through your splendid apparel.
They shall thrust you down to the pit, there to die
a bloodied corpse, in the heart of the sea.
Will you then say, "I am a god!"
when you face your murderers?
No, you are man, not a god,
handed over to those who will slay you.
You shall die the death of the uncircumcised
at the hands of foreigners,
for I have spoken, says the Lord GOD.


Gospel

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich
to enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Again I say to you,
it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God."
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said,
"Who then can be saved?"
Jesus looked at them and said,
"For men this is impossible,
but for God all things are possible."
Then Peter said to him in reply,
"We have given up everything and followed you.
What will there be for us?"
Jesus said to them, "Amen, I say to you
that you who have followed me, in the new age,
when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory,
will yourselves sit on twelve thrones,
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters
or father or mother or children or lands
for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more,
and will inherit eternal life.
But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first."


 

 

Fr. Anthony Dinh Minh Tien, O.P.

I. THEME: It is hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.

 

            Many people say that human beings aren’t angels, they need to eat and to drink so they depend on material things. Others say that to be poor is as to live in hell, so people must try to be rich in order to escape their poor fate. In reverse, Jesus teaches in today Gospel, “it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” Is the heaven reserved only to the poor?

            Today readings want to give the reasons why it is difficult for the rich to enter the kingdom of God. In the first reading, the richness made the leaders of Tyre city to become haughty. They considered them as gods; they thought that they became rich because of their wisdom and intelligence. Therefore, God sent the prophet Ezekiel to declare an oracle, what shall happen to Tyre: A wicked nation shall come to destroy and to reign over them. Then they shall recognize who is controlling the world. In the Gospel, Jesus declared: “It is very difficult for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.” The main reason for this is because they pay so much attention to material things and forget about spiritual things which prepare them to enter the kingdom of heaven.

 

II. ANALYSIS:

 

1/ Reading I: The pride of Tyre, the commercial city

 

            1.1/ The well-known richness of Tyre: It is one of the oldest cities along the coastland of Phoenecia. This city is about 40 km from Sidon toward the south, and about 45 km from Arco to the north. In the past, it was an isle in the sea about 600-750 meters from the land, but from the time of Alexander the Great (ca. 332 BC), this isle was connected with the land by the rising ground which became bigger and bigger through many centuries until it became the habour and the commercial center for exchanging goods between Europe and Asia. The Scripture mentions this city many times.

            The richness made the leaders of Tyre city to blindly believe in themselves. Therefore, there was today oracle from the prophet Ezekiel: “Thus says the Lord God: Because you are haughty of heart, you say, "A god am I! I occupy a godly throne in the heart of the sea!"-- And yet you are a man, and not a god, however you may think yourself like a god. Oh yes, you are wiser than Daniel, there is no secret that is beyond you. By your wisdom and your intelligence you have made riches for yourself; you have put gold and silver into your treasuries. By your great wisdom applied to your trading you have heaped up your riches; your heart has grown haughty from your riches.”

 

            1.2/ The richness prevents people to believe in God: This happened to leaders of Tyre. They forgot that God is controlling the world and all its power; He can lower to mud those who arrogantly raised themselves up. Ezekiel continued: “Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you have thought yourself to have the mind of a god; therefore I will bring against you foreigners, the most barbarous of nations. They shall draw their swords against your beautiful wisdom, they shall run them through your splendid apparel. They shall thrust you down to the pit, there to die a bloodied corpse, in the heart of the sea. Will you then say, "I am a god!" when you face your murderers? No, you are a man, not a god, handed over to those who will slay you. You shall die the death of the uncircumcised at the hands of foreigners, for I have spoken, says the Lord God.”

 

2/ Gospel: The richness pauses an obstacle for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.

            After the young man walked away, then Jesus said to his disciples, "Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." We try to find out the reasons why the richness prevents people to enter the heaven.

 

            2.1/ The richness makes people to live far away from God: Like the first reading, the richness makes people to completely believe in themselves to the point that they think they are gods. To these people, they think that their money can buy everything and control anyone they want. They don’t pay attention to justice; they use money to bribe government and to do whatever they want.

            Next, the richness makes people to forget the purpose of life. Jesus warned his disciples, “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be” (Lk 12:34). Once they think that they are happy with their life in this world, they won’t bother to worry about the next life. Instead of responding to Jesus’ invitation which is to sell everything to buy the kingdom of heaven, they are content with what they have in this world. When people already have everything, it is very difficult for them to leave everything to follow God. We can see this fact through the decrease of the priesthood and the religious vocation in Europe and North America. In a word, once people become rich, it is very hard for them to leave them.

 

            2.2/ The poverty helps people to put their hope in God: Some of the rich say that they become rich to have the money to help the poor. We don’t deny that there are some of them who used their richness to help others; but the majority of them follow the normal way which is human greed has no limit, the richer they are the more greedy they become. The reality shows that donation mostly comes from the average people, not from the rich. Moreover, because they want to become rich quickly, many use the time which they should use for God and their family to work for money.

            “Then Peter said to him in reply, "We have given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?" Jesus said to them, "Amen, I say to you that you who have followed me, in the new age, when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory, will yourselves sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

            If people share Jesus’ suffering, they shall also share his glory in the eternal life. Jesus’ disciples correctly chose the right order of the basic principle which we mentioned yesterday. They put God first when they left everything to follow Jesus, and because of him, they preached the Good News and helped others.

           

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                     

 

            - The richness can make us to be prideful and ignorant of God’s help; therefore, it prevents us to enter the kingdom of heaven.

            - The greed of richness has no limit. It takes our time to work for our salvation to work for money.

            - We can’t catch fish with both hands. We can’t worship both God and mammon.

OTHER READINGS

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