Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Monday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

 Image result for last supper

Reading 1 (1 Cor 11:17-26,33)

Brothers and sisters:
In giving this instruction, I do not praise the fact
that your meetings are doing more harm than good.
First of all, I hear that when you meet as a Church
there are divisions among you,
and to a degree I believe it;
there have to be factions among you
in order that also those who are approved among you
may become known.
When you meet in one place, then,
it is not to eat the Lord's supper,
for in eating, each one goes ahead with his own supper,
and one goes hungry while another gets drunk.
Do you not have houses in which you can eat and drink?
Or do you show contempt for the Church of God
and make those who have nothing feel ashamed?
What can I say to you? Shall I praise you?
In this matter I do not praise you.

For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you,
that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over,
took bread and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, "This is my Body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me."
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,
"This cup is the new covenant in my Blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters,
when you come together to eat, wait for one another.

Gospel (Lk 7:1-10)

When Jesus had finished all his words to the people,
he entered Capernaum.
A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die,
and he was valuable to him.
When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him,
asking him to come and save the life of his slave.
They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying,
"He deserves to have you do this for him,
for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us."
And Jesus went with them,
but when he was only a short distance from the house,
the centurion sent friends to tell him,
"Lord, do not trouble yourself,
for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof.
Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you;
but say the word and let my servant be healed.
For I too am a person subject to authority,
with soldiers subject to me.
And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes;
and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes;
and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it."
When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him
and, turning, said to the crowd following him,
"I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith."
When the messengers returned to the house,
they found the slave in good health.


Fr. Anthony Dinh Minh Tien, O.P.

 

I. THEME: The proper manner to welcome God into our house.

             

            Today readings give us the two ways of welcoming Jesus. In the first reading, St. Paul corrected the Corinth community about the wrong way that they welcome Jesus. This way didn’t reflect the true meaning of the banquet of love. In the Gospel, Jesus praised the Roman centurion about his sincere faith and manner in asking him to heal his beloved servant.

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: St. Paul rebuked the Corinthians about their way of welcoming Christ in their “breaking of the bread” banquet.

            This is the first time that what Jesus did in the Last Supper was recorded through the First Letter to the Corinthians (ca. 52 AD). The Synoptists also recorded this event but about 20 years later. St. Paul wrote: “For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.”

            One of St. Paul’s most important concerns is the unity between the faithful, and he forcefully discarded all causes that lead to division in the community. The first faithful of Corinth’s community might not understand the meaning and the purpose of the banquet of love, so they considered it as a common meal as happened in any community in which each participant brings their own food or drink to share with the host. In such a meal, people have a tendency to seat in the same table with those whom they can easily talk with; for examples, same language, same class or same political party.

            The Breaking of the Bread banquet, according to St. Paul, must not like these meals because the bread is Jesus’ flesh and the wine, Jesus’ blood. Of course, the early community didn’t have bread and wine, together with rituals as we have now; but the meaning of bread and wine as Jesus’ body and flood was clearly explained by the apostles right after Jesus’ resurrection. There are many reasons which St. Paul gave to explain why the faithful should celebrate it as the banquet of love. First, to commemorate Jesus as he himself commanded, “Do this in remembrance me.” Secondly is to proclaim Jesus’ death as the sacrifice to redeem people’s sins as he also said, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.”

            We can see that St. Paul’s theology of the Body presented also in the banquet of love. If the faithful come to eat the bread which is Jesus’ body and to drink the wine which is Jesus’ blood, all the faithful shall become one Body and the life of the faithful is Christ’s body and blood. If understanding so, the “agape” banquet must be a cord that connects all faithful together, and an opportunity for all to show their love and unity. But the opposite happened in the Corinth’s community, the “agape” banquet became the cause of division between the rich and the poor! The communal meeting should brings good result, but caused many damages.

            Therefore, St. Paul advised his faithful that they must change their attitudes and habits when they celebrated the “agape” banquet. They must wait for everyone to come before they celebrate. They must get rid of the habit whoever comes first, eats first; whoever comes late, eats later. St. Paul gave a stern command: If somebody is afraid of hungry, he should eat at home before coming to the meeting. When celebrating the “agape” banquet, they must pay a special attention to poor brothers and sisters who have little or nothing to contribute. They shouldn’t let these brothers and sisters feel indignation because in the same body of Christ, all injustice between the rich and the poor must be wiped away, as the ideal community in the Acts, “All who believed were together and had all things in common;  they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one's need” (Acts 2:44-45).

2/ Gospel: Jesus praised the centurion’s faith and his reception of him.

            The centurion was very sensitive with the needs of his servant, the Jews and Jesus. How many masters recognized his servant’s sickness! How many Roman officers wanted to know a need of colonists! How many Gentiles concerned and found a way so that a Jew wasn’t in a same roof with a Gentile!

            Many are also sensitive with others’ needs, but just with a temporal passion; they don’t act to meet others’ need. This centurion was not only sensitive to his servant’s need but also found a way to meet his need. He found a best healer to heal his sickness because he loved him very much. He helped the Jews because he loved them and found a way to build up for them a synagogue. He wanted Jesus not to be unclean because he must share the same roof with a Gentile by sending out his friends to meet Jesus and asked him that he only needed to say one word and his servant shall be healed.

            Not only he humbly knew of himself but also paid a high respect to Jesus when he sincerely and publicly professed his faith in Jesus through his friends in these words, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof. Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes; and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it.”

            Knew that he isn’t worthy to meet Jesus, he politely sent a Jewish delegation to talk to Jesus about his servant’s sickness and his friends to welcome Jesus when he was near to his house. “When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him and, turning, said to the crowd following him, "I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith." When the messengers returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.”

           

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                     

            - Be educated and grew up in faith, we are supposed to know how to express our faith and love others more than those have no faith in God; but the reality shows that many times the Gentiles expressed their faith in God and loved others more than us.

            - The sacrament of the Eucharist is the sacrament that unites all faithful with God, makes our family and community more united, loved and helped each other. Do our family and community still have contention, division, jealousy and dishonor each others while we celebrate this sacrament of love?

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