Wednesday after Epiphany
Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Wednesday after Epiphany

Wednesday after Epiphany

 

Readings: I Jn 4:11-18; Mk 6:45-52.

1/ First Reading: NAB 1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us. 13 This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us, that he has given us of his Spirit. 14 Moreover, we have seen and testify that the Father sent his Son as savior of the world. 15 Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him and he in God. 16 We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. 17 In this is love brought to perfection among us, that we have confidence on the day of judgment because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.

2/ Gospel: NAB Mark 6:45 Then he made his disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side toward Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 And when he had taken leave of them, he went off to the mountain to pray. 47 When it was evening, the boat was far out on the sea and he was alone on shore. 48 Then he saw that they were tossed about while rowing, for the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them. 49 But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out. 50 They had all seen him and were terrified. But at once he spoke with them, "Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!" 51 He got into the boat with them and the wind died down. They were (completely) astounded. 52 They had not understood the incident of the loaves. On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.


Written by: Fr. Anthony Tien M. Dinh, O.P. 

I. THEME: Perfect love casts out fear.

            People fear of many things in their life; for examples, fear of loosing what they have; of pain from all kinds of diseases; of the devil’s power, of death and of God’s punishment. These fears make people to be timid, and not have courage to live and to witness for the truth. Fear itself isn’t evil, it becomes evil only if after convincing by the intellect that one shouldn’t fear and he still fear. When people is no longer in fear, they shall truly and fully live.

            Today readings center on love and fear. In the first reading, St. John declared: “Perfect love casts our fear.” If people truly believe in God’s love for them, they shouldn’t be fearful of anything because God constantly loves, protects and provides all things for them. In the Gospel, the disciples were fearful of a storm and of someone walking next to their boat as a ghost; but Jesus took away their fear by quieting the storm and giving this assuring words to them, “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!”

 

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: The perfect love is God’s love.

           

1.1/ The two conditions for one to have God:

            (1) To believe Christ who comes from God: In John’s gospel, Jesus revealed God’s love as follows: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (Jn 3:16). In today reading, John certified again this truth, “We have seen and testify that the Father sent his Son as savior of the world.” And he pushed it further, “Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him and he in God.” This is evident, since the Father can’t be separated from the Son; whoever has the Son, has the Father; therefore, denying Christ is denying God’s love.

            (2) To keep Christ’s commandment of love: When one has God’s love in his heart, he can’t live against the urge of this love as John said, “whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.” The result is that one shall find all possible ways to return God’s love and he shall love others as John advised: “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another.No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us.”

            John also revealed to us another aspect of God’s love when he said: “This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us, that he has given us of his Spirit.” We have just said in the above passage: “whoever has the Son, has the Father because they can’t be separated.” In these sentences, we recognize the role of the Third Person, the Holy Spirit. Whoever has the Father and the Son, he also has the Holy Spirit because the Holy Trinity can’t be separated. The Spirit is the love that connects between the Father and the Son.

           

1.2/ Perfect love casts out fear: The perfect love is God’s love; when one possesses God’s love, he shouldn’t be fearful of anything because:

            (1) God is omnipotent: He can do all things and Christ has conquered all powers in this universe, even the powers of the devil and of death.

            (2) God is love: He loves until the end; therefore, we shouldn’t fear that He will change His mind. The only thing we should fear is our failure to love Him. St. John advised people that they should not fear even the Judgment Day: “In this is love brought to perfection among us, that we have confidence on the day of judgment because as he is, so are we in this world.”

            If we have a powerful God who can do all things and love us to the point that He gave us His Only Begotten Son to die for us, we have no reason to fear of anything as John said, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.”

2/ Gospel: "Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!"

           

2.1/ Jesus had power over a storm: Right after the miracle of the Feeding of Five Thousand people is the miracle of Jesus’ walking on the sea. St. Mark reported this miracle as follows: “Then he made his disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side toward Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd.And when he had taken leave of them, he went off to the mountain to pray.When it was evening, the boat was far out on the sea and he was alone on shore.Then he saw that they were tossed about while rowing, for the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them walking on the sea.” When he entered the boat with them, the storm was quiet. According to the report, Jesus, eventhough he came to a mountain to pray, but he never took his eyes off them. When they were in trouble, he came down and helped them from the danger of the storm.

           

2.2/ The apostles were fearful: As men, they are fearful of all things that threaten their life. Today passage reported their two fears:

            (1) The storm’s destruction: is a major fear of all fishermen. A strong storm can sink a boat and take away many human lives. The Galilee is called by many “the Galilee Sea” because of its huge dimension (21km/13km/204m).

            (2) The devil’s power: In addition to their fear of the storm is the fear of devil. The Jewish tradition believes in the devil’s power, and Jesus expelled them many times from people he met. Though the apostles recognized Jesus but couldn’t understand he has power to walk on the water; therefore, “when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out.They had all seen him and were terrified.”

           

2.3/ Jesus assured his apostles: He told them, "Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!" Once people have Jesus as the companion, they shouldn’t be fearful of any power because he can conquer all powers, whether it is a storm or the the devil’s power.

 

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                     

            - We are fearful of many things and have no peace because we didn’t fully believe in God’s love yet.

            - In order to have God’s perfect love, we must completely believe in Christ and keep all his commandments, especially the commandment of love.

            - Fear is one of human natural tendency, but God’s love shall help us to conquer all fears in our life so that we can live in peace and reach the ultimate goal of our life.

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