Wednesday of the Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Wednesday of the Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time

 

Reading 1: (Job 9:1-12, 14-16)

Job answered his friends and said:
I know well that it is so;
but how can a man be justified before God?
Should one wish to contend with him,
he could not answer him once in a thousand times.
God is wise in heart and mighty in strength;
who has withstood him and remained unscathed?

He removes the mountains before they know it;
he overturns them in his anger.
He shakes the earth out of its place,
and the pillars beneath it tremble.
He commands the sun, and it rises not;
he seals up the stars.

He alone stretches out the heavens
and treads upon the crests of the sea.
He made the Bear and Orion,
the Pleiades and the constellations of the south;
He does great things past finding out,
marvelous things beyond reckoning.

Should he come near me, I see him not;
should he pass by, I am not aware of him;
Should he seize me forcibly, who can say him nay?
Who can say to him, "What are you doing?"

How much less shall I give him any answer,
or choose out arguments against him!
Even though I were right, I could not answer him,
but should rather beg for what was due me.
If I appealed to him and he answered my call,
I could not believe that he would hearken to my words.

Gospel: (Lk 9:57-62)

As Jesus and his disciples were proceeding
on their journey, someone said to him,
"I will follow you wherever you go."
Jesus answered him,
"Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head."
And to another he said, "Follow me."
But he replied, "Lord, let me go first and bury my father."
But he answered him, "Let the dead bury their dead.
But you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God."
And another said, "I will follow you, Lord,
but first let me say farewell to my family at home."
Jesus answered him, "No one who sets a hand to the plow
and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God."


Fr. Anthony Dinh Minh Tien, O.P.

I. THEME: God’s providence

             

            The hurricane Ike which felt on the city of Houston, Texas on Septemper 5, 2008 showed people of God’s power and their fragility. Although people knew in advance the time it shall hit, the wind’s speed, the hurricane’s wide, and they prepared for the worst; but the fourth largest American city couldn’t do anything to prevent it.The whole city and its surrounded regions were affected by this hurricane: all city’s activities were cancelled, the falling trees were everywhere, communication and traffic were dead and most of the city were dark at the sunset. This was only the second degree hurricane and water didn’t flow much into the city. It it were the fifth degree hurricane, what shall its result be? If water keeps raising up like the Great Flood, who can be survive in this world?

            Today readings teach people to realize their limited power and to trust in God’s providence.

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: God’s righteousness is above all.

1.1/ God’s wisdom exceeds all human combined wisdom: Jod couldn’t find a proper reason for his sufferings. His friends told him the reason for his sufferings is his sins which he committed against God. He vehemently denied them because he knew that he never intentionally sins against God. Even so, he didn’t say that he is righteous. He said: “I know well that it is so; but how can a man be justified before God? Should one wish to contend with him, he could not answer him once in a thousand times. God is wise in heart and mighty in strength; who has withstood him and remained unscathed?” Job knew if he says that he is righteous, he implies God is unjust because He made the just to suffer. Therefore, he humbly confessed that he didn’t know what happens in God.

1.2/ God’s power and human fragility: Human beings are only a small part comparing with other parts in the universe. If other huge parts of the universe, such as: mountains, seas, the sun and stars are under God’s control, who amongst the human beings dare to escape God’s providence! Job confessed his fragile being and accepted God’s immense power in the universe, “He does great things past finding out, marvelous things beyond reckoning. Should he come near me, I see him not; should he pass by, I am not aware of him; should he seize me forcibly, who can say him nay? Who can say to him, "What are you doing?"”

1.3/ Human proper attitude before God: People can’t reason against God because they aren’t wise enough to understand all God’s wonderful works. If a vase can’t reason to the potter why he didn’t make it to be a pot, a man can’t also reason with God why He let him to exist in this life or to be this person and not that person. His most proper attitude isn’t to contend, but to obey and to rely on His merciful love. After complained about his fate and despised his birth, Job repented and said to himself: “How much less shall I give him any answer, or choose out arguments against him! Even though I were right, I could not answer him, but should rather beg for what was due me. If I appealed to him and he answered my call, I could not believe that he would hearken to my words.”

2/ Gospel: "Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God."

            Today Gospel gives us three examples to show the urgence of giving up everything to follow Jesus to proclaim the Good News. To follow Christ, a disciple must have these attitudes:

2.1/ To live a simple life to have time for God: As Jesus and his disciples were proceeding on their journey, someone said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus answered him, "Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head." Jesus, though he was very rich (all things belong to him), but he chose a simple life to set an example for his disciples. Why is a simple life needed for Jesus’ disciples?

            - When one spent too much time to work for money, he will have no time to work for God.

            - When one has too much, he will hesitate to follow Jesus. The conversation between Jesus and the rich young man in Luke’s Gospel is an example.

            - When a disciple has too many things, he will hesitate to be on the road to proclaim the Good News. Whoever has least, will travel furthest. He is ready to go anywhere to proclaim the Good News.

2.2/ To follow God is the first priority: Jesus said to another, "Follow me." But he replied, "Lord, let me go first and bury my father." But he answered him, "Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God."

            - There seems a paradox in Jesus’ answer: “How can the dead bury their dead?” The dead can be understood as “human beings” because they all have to die. Jesus meant that when he calls someone, that person must have courage to follow him at once. If he waits for his father to be buried before he follows him, this shows he loves his father more than God. Whoever did such thing isn’t worthy to follow Jesus.

            - Does Jesus teach one to be ungrateful to his parents? No! But he wants people to value first the proclamation of the Good News. God has power to take care his disciple’s father.

            - One must take the opportunity when it comes. According to experience, if one keeps hesitated, he will not have courage to follow Jesus.

2.3/ Once followed God, don’t turn back: And another said, "I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home." Jesus answered him, "No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God."

            - This is a real experience for farmers: When one uses oxen or buffaloes to plow, he must look straight forward; if he looks back, the furrows will not be straight.

            - In the Book of Genesis, Lot’s wife, because of regretting her properties, diobeyed the angel’s command and looked back, she immediately became a columnn of salt.

            - The disciple who gave up everything to follow Christ, should not regret of anything. If he did, he will gradually gather all things he gave up, and the result is worse than the time he gave up.

           

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                     

            - We must always trust in God’s wisdom, power and providence. The devil’s forever temptation is to make us to believe in ourselves. Once we think that we can master of their life, God is no longer needed.

            - When we don’t understand reasons of things happened in our life, we shouldn’t hastily blame on God as injustice. Our proper attitude is to firmly believe in God’s mercy and to pray Him for either He gives us strength to withstand or takes away them according to His will.

            - The purpose for our presence in this world is to glorify God, not to hoard up material things for us or our family. We must have courage to deny all which prevent our glorifying of God. 

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