Friday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Friday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1: (2 Jn 4-9)

[Chosen Lady:]
I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth
just as we were commanded by the Father.
But now, Lady, I ask you,
not as though I were writing a new commandment
but the one we have had from the beginning:
let us love one another.
For this is love, that we walk according to his commandments;
this is the commandment, as you heard from the beginning,
in which you should walk.

Many deceivers have gone out into the world,
those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh;
such is the deceitful one and the antichrist.
Look to yourselves that you do not lose what we worked for
but may receive a full recompense.
Anyone who is so "progressive"
as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God;
whoever remains in the teaching has the Father and the Son.

Gospel: (Lk 17:26-37)

Jesus said to his disciples:
"As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be in the days of the Son of Man;
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage up to the day
that Noah entered the ark,
and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot:
they were eating, drinking, buying,
selling, planting, building;
on the day when Lot left Sodom,
fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all.
So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.
On that day, someone who is on the housetop
and whose belongings are in the house
must not go down to get them,
and likewise one in the field
must not return to what was left behind.
Remember the wife of Lot.
Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it,
but whoever loses it will save it.
I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed;
one will be taken, the other left.
And there will be two women grinding meal together;
one will be taken, the other left."
They said to him in reply, "Where, Lord?"
He said to them, "Where the body is,
there also the vultures will gather."


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

I. THEME: People must love God more than His creatures.

            People used to love what are appealed to their eyes more than the important values which are hidden from them. For example, they love the delicious dishes and forget about the love of those who sacrificed their time and money to prepare those dishes, sometimes they even forget to say thanks to them. Similarly to God, many times people love God’s creatures so much and forget about God’s love for them through creation. Many don’t even pay attention to the ultimate end which God predestines for them which is the happy life with God for ever.

            Today readings remind people that they must love what have lasting values more than temporal ones. In the first reading, St. John reminded the faithful the priceless value of love which comes from God to Christ, and then to all the faithful. In the Gospel, Jesus continued to remind people that they must be prepares for His second coming, so that they should not be destroyed as the Great Flood at Noah’s time or the brimstone fire at Lot’s time.

 

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: To love is to live according to God’s commandments.

            The Second Letter of John is the short one, only one page in length. He used the word “Lady” to indicate a local community, and “your children” for the faithful of that community.

1.1/ Love is the commandment which existed from the beginning: To John, the most important thing which people should have in life which is their love for God and others. According to him, there is only one love, originates from God, extends to Christ and flows to all people. He said that this commandment existed from the beginning; he might mean from the time of creation because God created all creatures out of His love for them (Jn 1:1). In the Old Testament, this commandment was expressed in the Ten Commandments and given to people through Moses: The first three commandments are people’s love for God, and the last seven commandments are people’s love for others. When Jesus came, he abbreviated these Ten Commandment in the most two important commandments which are to love God above all and to love people as ourselves. St. Paul said that faith, hope and love are important, but love is the most perfect one because it shall remain for ever in heaven (1 Cor 13:13). This was also the reason why John wrote these words for his faithful: “I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth just as we were commanded by the Father. But now, Lady, I ask you, not as though I were writing a new commandment but the one we have had from the beginning: let us love one another.”

1.2/ To love is to live according to God’s commandments: People are easily confused because there are too many laws in the Old Testament. This is the reason why a scribe asked Jesus, “Which is the first of all commandments?” Jesus answered him by repeating the Shema which is Deuteronomy 6:5 and joining with Leviticus 18:19, "The first is this: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these" (Mk 12:29-31). Many saints understood why Jesus abbreviated all commandments in these two commandments. St. Paul said, “Love is the fulfillment of the law” (Rom 13:10). According to St. Thomas Aquinas, love is to wish all the best for others and never to harm them. The law can control only two hands, but love can control both mind and heart. St. John in today passage also recognize the importance of love, “For this is love that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, as you heard from the beginning, in which you should walk.”

2/ Gospel: The second coming of Jesus

2.1/ People failed to prepare: Although people were warned about all dangers which are about to happen, they still don’t want to prepare for them. Why aren’t people prepared? They probably think these dangers can never happen or they still have time. Experience taught people many lessons, for no one knows what is going to happen; for examples, the event of September 11, 2000 which happened in New York and Washington, DC or the Katrina hurricane which happened in New Orleans. Some may think the Last Day or their death are still far away, they want to fully enjoy life until they see some kinds of warning signs, then they will repent. But the main reason why people don’t prepare is that they valued creatures more than the Creator. Jesus reminded them of the two events which were recorded in Genesis to illustrate the foolishness of those who don’t want to prepare.

            (1) The Great Flood: “As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of man. They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.”

            (2) The fire and brimstone rain: “Likewise as it was in the days of Lot -- they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, and they built, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all.”

           

2.2/ What will happen and things needed to do on the Last Day: All things will be quickly happened, people will have no time to prepare: When that Day shall come, people need to realize the followings:

            - It is not the time to protect material belonging: “Let him who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away.”

            - It is also not the time to come home, wherever one is, let him stand there: “And likewise let him who is in the field not turn back.” Jesus reminded people the story of Lot’s wife, she turned to the column of salt because she ignored the angel’s warning.

            - People must have courage in order to escape what will happen on that day as Jesus advised: “Whoever seeks to gain his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it.”

2.3/ There is no confusion between the good and the wicked on that day: The angels of God know exactly who are they. The angels will put a seal on every of God’s servants while other angels will destroy the wicked. Jesus gave some examples about this accuracy: “I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding together; one will be taken and the other left.”

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:

                     

            - Two things we need to prepare for the Last Day are to firmly believe in Christ and to love all people.

            - Though God warned people many times and advised them to be prepared and ready for Christ’s second coming, there are still many people who don’t heed His word and shall be destroyed for ever.

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