Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome
Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome

Reading 1: (Eze 47:1-2, 8-9, 12)

 

The angel brought me
back to the entrance of the temple,
and I saw water flowing out
from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the east,
for the façade of the temple was toward the east;
the water flowed down from the southern side of the temple,
south of the altar.
He led me outside by the north gate,
and around to the outer gate facing the east,
where I saw water trickling from the southern side.
He said to me,
"This water flows into the eastern district down upon the Arabah,
and empties into the sea, the salt waters, which it makes fresh.
Wherever the river flows,
every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live,
and there shall be abundant fish,
for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh.
Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow;
their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail.
Every month they shall bear fresh fruit,
for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary.
Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine."

Reading 2: (1 Cor 3:9c-11, 16-17)

 

Brothers and sisters:
You are God's building.
According to the grace of God given to me,
like a wise master builder I laid a foundation,
and another is building upon it.
But each one must be careful how he builds upon it,
for no one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there,
namely, Jesus Christ.

Do you not know that you are the temple of God,
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
If anyone destroys God's temple,
God will destroy that person;
for the temple of God, which you are, is holy.

Gospel: (Jn 2:13-22)

 

Since the Passover of the Jews was near,
Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves,
as well as the money-changers seated there.
He made a whip out of cords
and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen,
and spilled the coins of the money-changers
and overturned their tables,
and to those who sold doves he said,
"Take these out of here,
and stop making my Father's house a marketplace."
His disciples recalled the words of Scripture,
Zeal for your house will consume me.
At this the Jews answered and said to him,
"What sign can you show us for doing this?"
Jesus answered and said to them,
"Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up."
The Jews said,
"This temple has been under construction for forty-six years,
and you will raise it up in three days?"
But he was speaking about the temple of his Body.
Therefore, when he was raised from the dead,
his disciples remembered that he had said this,
and they came to believe the Scripture
and the word Jesus had spoken.


Written by: Fr. Anthony Dinh M. Tien, OP.

 

I. THEME: The value of material things

 

            God let people live in the world, not to hoard up material things for themselves, but to glorify God and to prepare for the eternal life. Material things belong to God and He gives them for people to use; it is only a mean for people to live, not the ultimate goal of their life. People must know how to use material things to benefit themselves and others and to prepare for the next life. But countless people set material things as the goal of their life in order to satisfy all their fleshy pleasures .

            Today readings remind people the ultimate goal of their life and how to reach that goal. In the first reading, St. Paul reminded the Philippians not to forget their highest goal of life so that they only value material things. In the Gospel, Jesus praised the unfaithful steward because he knew how to use material things to acquire his friends; he hoped that they shall help him when he shall be in needs.

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: The faithful need to understand their whole picture of life.

           

1.1/ Life isn’t only about material things: If death is the end, people have a reason to use all possible ways to acquire material things and to satisfy their pleasures; but death is not the end, the faithful must not live according to worldly people who don’t believe in God and the eternal life. St. Paul advised the Philippians to take precaution of this lifestyle due to the following reasons:

            (1) To live according to the worldly style is to oppose with Christ’s cross: St. Paul sincerely shared his thought with the Philippians, “For many, as I have often told you and now tell you even in tears, conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ.Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach; their glory is in their "shame." Their minds are occupied with earthly things.” In this passage, St. Paul didn’t specify what he meant about, “their God is their stomach; their glory is in their "shame;"” but he clearly explained this lifestyle in his Second Letter to Timothy, “People will be self-centered and lovers of money, proud, haughty, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, irreligious, callous, implacable, slanderous, licentious, brutal, hating what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Tim 3:2-4). This lifestyle opposes with Christ’s cross because Christ rejected all these things and nailed them to the cross to redeem people.

            (2) The result of the worldly lifestyle: All those who live according to this lifestyle shall not inherit salvation and the glory God promises for His children, and they shall be destroyed at the end.

1.2/ Live according to Christ’s teaching: When the faithful are purified from their sins by Christ’s precious blood and reconciled with God, they have a hope to inherit what God and Christ have prepared for them in heaven. St. Paul invited the faithful to look up to heaven, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself.”

2/ Gospel: Know how to use worldly things.

Before analyzing this parable, we need to know that: when using parables, the author only wants to pay attention to one main point, and not to satisfy all related points because it is impossible to do so. The main point Jesus wanted to highlight in this parable is the steward’s way of solving the problem when he was laid off.

2.1/ The unfaithful steward: From the beginning, the audience already knew this steward was not good because he wasted his owner’s goods, and that was the reason why he was laid off. A good steward must be both wise and faithful to the owner. This steward was very shrewd but not faithful. The owner said to him: “What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.”

 2.2/ The shrewd steward: He knew how to use his owner’s goods as the mean to prepare for his future. He debated with himself: “What shall I do, since my master is taking the stewardship away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg.I have decided what to do, so that people may receive me into their houses when I am put out of the stewardship.”

            With 50 measures of oil he discounted for the first debtor and 200 measures of wheat he discounted for the second one, he hoped they will kick back to him some when he is in need. He also might think if they refuse to give, he will accuse them with the owner and they must return all of them back to him.

2.3/ The owner praised the steward’s way of solving his problem: First, we need to note that the owner did not praise him for his unfaithfulness. The thing the owner praised him was his shrewd way of solving his problem. He knew how to win friends and to influence people. He properly valued people more than material things because he knew as long as he had friends, he will have money to live. When he no longer had any friends, he will be in trouble.

            Many people did not act properly when they valued material things above people, the result is they lost both people and material things. For example, when an employer found a talent and good employee, he must pay him accordingly in order to keep him. If he didn’t do so, that employee will work for other company, and the employer will suffer because he cannot find such an employee. Many husbands lost their wives because they did not fairly value what their wives did for the family: caring for children, cooking, doing laundry, washing dishes, cleaning.

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:

                     

            - The purpose of life isn’t about to find all possible ways to hoard up material things because we know that we can’t bring them with us when we die.

            - We must know how to use material things to benefit ourselves and others in this life, at the same time, to invest for the next life.

            - We should never forget the order of values in order to properly make our decisions; that is: Firstly, God; secondly, people; and thirdly, material things. If we inverse this order of values in our decisions, we must suffer terrible damages.

Save

Save

Donation (credit card)

Thanks for your supporting.

Amount: