Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Wednesday of the 4th week of Easter

 

Readings: Acts 12:24-13:5; Jn 12:44-50.

1/ Reading I: NAU Acts 12:24 But the word of the Lord continued to grow and to be multiplied. 25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their mission, taking along with them John, who was also called Mark. 13:1 Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there, prophets and teachers: Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." 3 Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. 4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 When they reached Salamis, they began to proclaim the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews; and they also had John as their helper.

2/ Gospel: NAU John 12:44 And Jesus cried out and said, "He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me. 45 "He who sees me sees the One who sent Me. 46 "I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me will not remain in darkness. 47 "If anyone hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 "He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day. 49 "For I did not speak on my own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent me has given me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. 50 "I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told me."


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


I. THEME: We should be ready to obey God’s word.

            There are many differences between God’s and human word. God’s word is absolutely wise, unchanged, and gives life for both this present world and the world to come; whereas human word isn’t wise as God’s, changed, doesn’t certainly give life for this present world and can’t bring life for the world to come.

            Today readings teach people to obey God through the Holy Spirit’s guidance and to practice what Jesus teaches. In the first reading, though the church at Antioch has just been established, but they were ready to follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance. They sacrificed so that Paul, Barnabas and John Mark could be on their way to proclaim the Gospel for people who don’t have the chance to know Jesus yet. In the Gospel, Jesus declared that he only speaks what he has heard from God, his Father. Therefore, to obey his word is to obey God’s word; if not, this word shall be a judge to condemn the disobedient people.

           

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: The church at Antioch obeyed God.

1.1/ God’s word is continously spread to all places: This is the goal for God’s plan of salvation so He creates all opportunities for the preachers of the Gospel. Some examples shall illustrate this point. For examples, there must be a persecution in Jerusalem after Stephen’s martyr so that God’s disciples were forced to scatter around to preach the Gospel while some apostles stayed back at Jerusalem to confirm the Church there. Philip, the deacon went to Samaria and preached the Gospel for people. He also sows the seed of the Gospel for Ethiopians when he baptized for the eunuch. Jesus conversed Saul from a fierce persecutor of the Church to an ardent preacher of the Gospel. Wherever the Gospel is sowed, God also gave them prophets and preachers, as in the church at Antioch, there are “Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.”

1.2/ The church at Antioch followed the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

            (1) A different mission for Paul and Barnabas: The Acts reported, “While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."”

            This is the command which isn’t easy to follow for the church at Antioch because these two men were the foundation of the local church which is still weak. According to human thinking, if they lose these two men, the church can’t be developed. But they decided to forfeit their human thinking and to live according to their faith in God and to the Holy Spirit’s guidance. So, “when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.”

            (2) A valuable lesson for all the faithful: We must do all possible ways for the Gospel to extend to every place, not to selfishly keep a good preacher for ourselves. Moreover, when the current preacher departs, God shall send another preacher, and all people in the local church shall be conscious about their role and involve in their church more positively.

            (3) Paul, Barnabas, and John Mark began to form new churches: The Acts reported, “So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia and from there they sailed to Cyprus. When they reached Salamis, they began to proclaim the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews; and they also had John as their helper.”

2/ Gospel: Jesus obeyed his Father.

2.1/ People should believe and obey Jesus: According to John’s structure of his Gospel, today passage shall end his first part which is Jesus’ teaching for both his disciples and the people. Beginning chapter 13, it is only for Jesus’ disciples. So, John repeated some Jesus’ main teachings in today passage to help his audience to review before he begins his second part.

            (1) "He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me": The sent has full of authority as the one who sent him. Therefore, whoever believes in the messenger, believes in the one who sent him and the reverse is also true. Whoever believes in Jesus, believes in the Father who sent him.

            (2) "He who sees me sees the One who sent Me”: This is a new revelation. For men, the one who sends and his messenger are two different subjects. For God, the One Who sent (the Father) and the sent (Jesus) are one, because both are God but do different things. This revelation was confirmed by Jesus in his conversation with Philip when he asked him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, `Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works” (Jn 14:8-10).

            (3) "I have come asLight into the world, so that everyone who believes in me will not remain in darkness": Light and darkness are two different entities, where there is light, there is no darkness and the reverse is also true. The one who believes in Christ can’t remain in darkness because Christ is light. This isn’t meant to say that who believes in Christ shall not have any darkness in him; but if he let Christ’s light to shine through all of his soul, he shall have only light.

            (4) "If anyone hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world": This verse repeats what Jesus said in John 3:16-21.

            (5) "He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day": According to John 3:18, people judge themselves when they saw Christ and don’t believe in him. For people who don’t have an opportunity to see Christ as us, God’s word becomes a judge to condemn us if we don’t believe his word.

2.2/ Jesus obeyed his Father:

            (1) "For I did not speak on my own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent me has given me a commandment as towhat to say and what to speak": The messenger must speak what the one who sent him wants to say; if not, he is no longer the messenger or the prophet of the one who sent him.

            (2) However, Jesus’ obedience isn’t slavery or blinded because he said, "I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told me." In other words, he knew the Father’s word is true, and has power to liberate people from sins and to give people the eternal life.

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                     

            - We must remember that God is still acting and controlling all things in the universe. Our duty is to pray so that we might recognize and quickly fulfill His will.

            - We are responsible in preaching the Gospel for all people, not to worry only about ourselves or our parish. When we fathomed God’s words, we ourselves must live, preach and be witnesses for the Gospel.

            - We should never despise or be ignorant of God’s words because they shall be the judge to condemn us; moreover, they are words which, out of love for us, God gives them to us.

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