Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Easter

Tuesday of the 6th Week of Easter

 

Readings: Acts 16:22-34; Jn 16:5-11.

1/ First Reading: NAB Acts 16:22 The crowd joined in the attack on them, and the magistrates had them stripped and ordered them to be beaten with rods. 23 After inflicting many blows on them, they threw them into prison and instructed the jailer to guard them securely. 24 When he received these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and secured their feet to a stake. 25 About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God as the prisoners listened, 26 there was suddenly such a severe earthquake that the foundations of the jail shook; all the doors flew open, and the chains of all were pulled loose. 27 When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew (his) sword and was about to kill himself, thinking that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted out in a loud voice, "Do no harm to yourself; we are all here." 29 He asked for a light and rushed in and, trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" 31 And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved." 32 So they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to everyone in his house. 33 He took them in at that hour of the night and bathed their wounds; then he and all his family were baptized at once. 34 He brought them up into his house and provided a meal and with his household rejoiced at having come to faith in God.

2/ Gospel: NAB John 16:5 But now I am going to the one who sent me, and not one of you asks me, 'Where are you going?' 6 But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts. 7 But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation: 9 sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; 11 condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.


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

I. THEME: The effects of faith

           

            When facing sufferings, people have different reactions depending on their faith in God. The one who has faith sees suffering as an occasion to practice his faith so that it can be stronger. He is always at peace because he believes in God’s providence. In opposition, the one who has no faith shall find all possible ways to avoid sufferings. When he can’t escape, he shall complain, lament and even commit suicide to avoid it.

            Today readings show us these kinds of attitude. In the first reading, Paul and Silas, even though were wrongly persecuted, scourged and confined in prison, they were still joyful, confident and sang hymns to praise God. In opposition, the jailer were worry so much that he almost committed suicide when he saw the doors of prison opened and thought the prisoners had escaped. Paul must let him know that they were still there to prevent him to do such an act. In the Gospel, when Jesus saw his disciples were so worry of what are going to happen, he promised to send them another advocate which is the Holy Spirit. He shall work inside to help them to recognize the complete truth and console them when they face sufferings.

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: Faith is the difference when people face sufferings.

1.1/ Paul and Silas’ attitude before suffering: The reason why they were persecuted was that they, in the name of Christ, expelled the demon from a maidservant, because she always followed them to announce for people to know that they were the Most High’s servant and shall show everyone the way of salvation. When her master knew that the demon had exited from her and shall no longer benefit him by her prophecy, he instigated the crowd to find a reason to persecute them.

            The Acts reported: “The crowd joined in the attack on them, and the magistrates had them stripped and ordered them to be beaten with rods.After inflicting many blows on them, they threw them into prison and instructed the jailer to guard them securely.When he received these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and secured their feet to a stake.”

            After such a severe beating, they didn’t say even a complain or a lamentation. In opposition, at midnight Paul and Silas sang hymns to praise God. The prisoners might be very surprised when they heard them singing. How could Paul and Silas sing in such a miserable condition! 

           

1.2/ The jailer’s attitude: The Acts continued to report: “There was suddenly such a severe earthquake that the foundations of the jail shook; all the doors flew open, and the chains of all were pulled loose. When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew (his) sword and was about to kill himself, thinking that the prisoners had escaped.But Paul shouted out in a loud voice, "Do no harm to yourself; we are all here."He asked for a light and rushed in and, trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas.Then he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved."So they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to everyone in his house.””

            The earthquake event was in God’s providence. He wanted to give the jailer a chance to listen to Paul and Silas’ preaching of the Good News right in the prison, and they didn’t miss this precious opportunity. Who could imagine that the jailer could hear the Gospel while watching prisoners? Nothing is impossible to God!

            The jailer returned his favor: “He took them in at that hour of the night and bathed their wounds; then he and all his family were baptized at once.He brought them up into his house and provided a meal and with his household rejoiced at having come to faith in God.” We didn’t know what happened to the jailer; but he probably didn’t concern because he possessed a better part which is God’s salvation for his household.

2/ Gospel: The Holy Spirit shall show three sins of the world.

2.1/ Christ shall send the Holy Spirit to his disciples: Facing Jesus’ Passion, there were two kinds of attitude. Jesus was very confident of God’s plan because he knew he shall be victorious over sufferings; therefore he was ready to face it. In opposition, his disciples didn’t know what shall happen in Jesus’ Passion and they were in grief. Jesus had to console and to reveal God’s other plan for them: “But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” God shall never abandon His children to be as preys for the devil and the world. He, together with Christ, shall send the Holy Spirit to strengthen their faith to face sufferings.

           

2.2/ The Holy Spirit shall show three wrong things of the world: Jesus said to his disciples: “And when he comes he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation.”

            (1) Sin: “because they do not believe in me.”According to John, the most serious sin is that people don’t believe in Christ who was sent by God. The Holy Spirit shall verify Christ is the Son of God.

            (2) Righteousness: “because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me.” The world (unbelievers) thought Jesus was a sinner when they saw Jesus died on the cross with the two sinners. By his resurrection, the Holy Spirit shall show them that Christ volunteered to be persecuted, the righteous died for all sinners.

            (3) Condemnation: “because the ruler of this world has been condemned.” The Jewish leaders thought that they pleased God when they condemned Jesus of blasphemy and death. The Roman leader, Herode, thought that he pleased the Jews by killing Christ. The Holy Spirit shall show them that they made a huge mistake when they killed Jesus, God’ Suffering Servant.

            All these three sins related to each other. The world commited the sin of killing God’s Son because they didn’t believe him as the Messiah of God. He is the righteous who never sins, but to redeem of people’s sins. The world was wrong when condemned and killed God’s Son. Therefore, they committed all three sins when they killed Jesus, the Son of God.

           

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                     

            - The Catholic has a priceless gift which is the faith in God. This faith shall help us to have peace in suffering, joy in sadness and optimistic in all situation.

            - We are always living in God’s providence and protection. Though He let us go through sufferings to strengthen our faith, but always gives us enough grace to overcome them.

            - We must always be conscious about the Holy Spirit’s presence in our mind so that we know how to listen and follow his guidance. He shall empower us to oppose all dangers from the devil and the world.

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