Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary TimeB

Sunday of the 28 OTB

Readings: Wis 7:7-11; Heb 4:12-13; Mk 10:17-30.

 

1/ First Reading: NAB Wisdom 7:7 Therefore I prayed, and prudence was given me; I pleaded and the spirit of Wisdom came to me. 8 I preferred her to scepter and throne, And deemed riches nothing in comparison with her, 9 nor did I liken any priceless gem to her; Because all gold, in view of her, is a little sand, and before her, silver is to be accounted mire. 10 Beyond health and comeliness I loved her, and I chose to have her rather than the light, because the splendor of her never yields to sleep. 11 Yet all good things together came to me in her company, and countless riches at her hands.

 

2/ Second Reading: NAB Hebrews 4:12 Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. 13 No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.

 

3/ Gospel: NAB Mark 10:17 As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" 18 Jesus answered him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 19 You know the commandments: 'You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.'" 20 He replied and said to him, "Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth." 21 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, "You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to (the) poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." 22 At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions. 23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!" 24 The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 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." 26 They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, "Then who can be saved?" 27 Jesus looked at them and said, "For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God." 28 Peter began to say to him, "We have given up everything and followed you." 29 Jesus said, "Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel 30 who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.”



I. THEME: "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

            Many people clearly know the ultimate goal of their life is the eternal and happy life with God; but how to attain this goal, there are many different opinions. Some say that they only need to believe in Christ; some say that they only need to go to church on the weekend and to pray daily; others say that they only need “to do good and to avoid evil.”

            St. James said, “Just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead” (Jam 2:26). Jesus declared, “Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven” (Mt 7:21). And the moral principle “to do good and to avoid evil” is only in general, it needs to be applied in people’s real life. If a person only confines this principle in his individual and familial life, is that enough to satisfy Jesus’ invitation in the “Our Father?” More concretely, how is about “Hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.” (Mt 6:9-10).

            Today reading concentrate on the question, “What must I do to inherit the eternal life?” and the answer, “You must listen and put God’s word into practice.” In the first reading, the author of the Book of Wisdom paid a special attention on wisdom because he must know wisdom before he can put what wisdom teaches into practice. He said that wisdom is more valuable more than anything in this world due to the following two reasons: first, when one has wisdom, he has everything; and secondly, only wisdom shall last forever. In the second reading, the author of the Letter to the Hebrews identified wisdom with God’s word, or the Word is God’s wisdom. Not like human wisdom, God’s word is living, effective and sharper than any two-edges sword. God’s word demands people to meditate, compels them to act and witnesses for them before God’s court. In the Gospel, when a young man asked Jesus that what must he do to attain the eternal life? Jesus answered that he must keep the commandments and give what he had to the poor.

 

II. ANALYSIS:

 

1/ Reading I: “All good things together came to me in wisdom’s company.”

           

1.1/ Wisdom is more valuable than all things: According to the Jewish tradition, king Solomon is considered the author of all the Wisdom Books because he is regarded as the most wise one in human history. The First Book of Kings reported what happened to Solomon in a dream in which God asked him “Ask something of me and I will give it to you” (1 Kg 3:5). King Solomon didn’t ask for anything else; but only wisdom to know how to live and to guide people. God so pleased with his request and granted him, “Because you have asked for this-- not for a long life for yourself, nor for riches, nor for the life of your enemies, but for understanding so that you may know what is right-- I do as you requested. I give you a heart so wise and understanding that there has never been anyone like you up to now, and after you there will come no one to equal you. In addition, I give you what you have not asked for, such riches and glory that among kings there is not your like” (1 Kg 3:11-13).

            - Wisdom is more valuable than scepter and throne: If a king doesn’t know how to govern his people, sooner or later his kingdom shall fall into other people’s hand. If he has wisdom, he shall know what people are looking for and he guides them according to them. His kingship shall last long and he doesn’t have to be responsible for his faults before God.

            - Wisdom is more valuable than richness: King Solomon confessed, ''And (I) deemed riches nothing in comparison with her,nor did I liken any priceless gem to her; because all gold, in view of her, is a little sand, and before her, silver is to be accounted mire.'' No matter how rich one is, if he doesn’t know how to live peacefully and happily, his richness doesn’t benefit him. The reality shows that many rich people don’t want to live and some of them even terminated their life.

            - Wisdom is more valuable than health and beauty: Many people in our society pay too much attention to excercise and diet in order to have a beautiful and healthy body. We don’t say these things aren’t important, but not enough to bring happiness for people. No matter how strong and beautiful one is, these shall be decreased with time and ended up in death. King Solomon gave a reason why he preferred wisdom more than these elements: ''Beyond health and comeliness I loved her, and I chose to have her rather than the light, because the splendor of her never yields to sleep.''

            In brief, King Solomon carefully thought when he asked for wisdom because when he has wisdom, he has everything: ''Yet all good things together came to me in her company, and countless riches at her hands.''

           

1.2/ How to have wisdom? Not like the human wisdom, whoever wants to possess must learn; the wisdom which God gave to King Solomon is the divine wisdom through his prayer as he said: "Therefore I prayed, and wisdom was given me; I pleaded and the spirit of wisdom came to me.''

 

2/ Reading II: Wisdom is God’s word.

           

2.1/ The supreme values of God’s word: The author of the Letter to the Hebrews listed out some characteristics of God’s word as follows: "Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.” We need to understand everyone of these characteristics:

            (1) Living (zôn): All human books, no matter how wonderful they are, shall be discarded with time because of human advancement; but Scripture is different, it is always alive. Four thousand years passed, Scripture is always the Book which has the most readers because its content is still suitable and living with people of every generation and in every place.

            (2) Effective (energês): God’s word in Scripture not only is the word to meditate but aso to compel and to provide energy for people to act. The prophet Isaiah beautifully spoke of God’s word as follows: "For just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to him who sows and bread to him who eats, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it” (Isa 55:10-11). These two verses certainly applied to Christ, the Word of God, when he descended from heaven to incarnate and to redeem people. They also apply to us because even though Christ prepared salvation for everybody, his words must also act in us to bring salvation for each individual.

            (3) Sharper than any two-edged sword: As a two-edged sword has power to penetrate both sides of an object, God’s word has power to penetrate any person, even those who are cold and stubborn.

            - penetrating even between soul and spirit: The Greek tradition believes a human being is the combination of the three main parts: spirit (pneuma), physical life (psychê), and body (sark). “Psychê”is the human physical life which they have in common with other creatures; but what makes people to think and to act different with them is the spirit. God’s word can penetrate both soul and spirit.

            - penetrating between joints (harmos) and marrow (muelos): If a two-edges sword can separate joints and marrow, God’s word can separate spirit from one’s physical life.

            - able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart:God’s word helps people to discern and to reflect before they make decisions for their life. When people read or listen to God’s word, it also reveals thoughts of their heart and compel them to compare between the two.

           

2.2/ God’s word is the standard to judge people: The author continued, "No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account." God’s word compels people to act, and human acts shall be the witnessess to judge people. For example, John talked about people who judge themselves as follows: "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God" (Jn 3:17-18).

            Christ’s presence, either in his human boby or in word, demands people to act, namely, to believe or to deny him; and depending on believing or not believing, people shall be punished or not. They can’t keep a middle position or not to act when they stand before Christ’s presence.

3/ Gospel:"Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

           

3.1/ How to attain the ultimate goal of life: Mark reported, “As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him: "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus answered him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.” There were two things which Jesus demanded him to do in this encounter:

            (1) To keep God’s commandments about others: Jesus said, “You know the commandments: 'You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.'" He replied and said to him, "Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth."

            (2) To keep God’s commandments about God: Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, "You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." What Jesus demanded of him here is nothing other than the first commandment which said “To love God above all things.” At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

           

3.2/ It is hard for rich people to enter the kingdom of God: Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!" The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 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." They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, "Then who can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "For human beings it is impossible, but not for God.”

            (1) What Jesus wanted to emphasize here is that people can’t put their wealth above God because “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be” (Mt 6:21). If one puts all of his mind and heart in wealth, where is his mind and heart for God and His works? We don’t say that wealth isn’t necessary, but we must put it according to its order—must be after God and others.

            (2) The rewards for Jesus’ disciples: God is the powerful and loving Father. He shall not let those who trust in Him and work for Him be hungry and died. Jesus promised these to his disciples: "Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.'' When the disciples follow Jesus, they must leave behind many things: their family, career, wealth; but they aren’t hungry and have much time for the expansion of God’s kingdom.

           

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                   

 

            - We must keep right this order in our life: God first, then others and the last is wealth. If we reverse this order, we must endure many sufferings and might not reach our destiny.

            - Whatever we believe, we shall live according to it. If we believe wisdom is more valuable than anything, we should pray for and spend more time to study God’s word.

            - To reach eternal life, we must keep all the commandments, not pick what we like and eliminate what we don’t like them.

Donation (credit card)

Thanks for your supporting.

Amount: