Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Friday in the tenth week of OT1

Friday of the 10 OT1

 

Readings: 2 Cor 4:7-15; Mt 5:27-32.

1/ First Reading: RSV 2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you. 13 Since we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, "I believed, and so I spoke," we too believe, and so we speak, 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

2/ Gospel: RSV Matthew 5:27 "You have heard that it was said, `You shall not commit adultery.' 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. 31 "It was also said, `Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' 32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.



I. THEME: The purpose of human body

            God creates everything for a purpose; if people know how to use God’s creature according to His will, it shall benefit people; but if people use it against His will, it shall hurt people.

            Today readings concentrate on the purpose of human body. In the first reading, St. Paul recognized the purpose of human body is to express God’s love for others and to work for salvation of the individual and for all people. In the Gospel, Jesus condemned those who use their body to commit adultery in their thought. He also condemned those who are unfaithful with the married covenant which they promised with their spouse before God.

           

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: “We are always carrying in the body the death of Jesus.”

1.1/ God gives people a body to suffer so that they could express love for others.

            (1) The purpose of human body: There are at least three different opinions.

            - The Epicureans think human body is used to satisfy all human passions.

            - The Platonism think human body is a prison that confines human soul. In order to set free the soul, people must use all possible ways to do it. For them, it is done by a secret knowledge.

            - The Catholics believe human body is the instrument which God uses to bring salvation for people. Jesus incarnated to have a human body, so he used his body to reveal God’s mysteries, to express God’s love and to redeem people’s sins. God gives each person a human body and He wants people use it to express God’s love for others, to work for salvation first for themselves and then for others.

            (2) All members of a human body can be used to glorify God: With mind, people can study God’s will and mysteries; with mouth, people can praise and proclaim what God wants them to speak to others; with heart, people can express God’s love for others; with hands, people can help and care for the sick; with their feet, people can go everywhere to proclaim the Gospel to others, etc.

            (3) The fragility of human body and God’s strength: Old age, weakness and sickness help people to recognize the fragility of their body; but also help them to realize God’s power working in them, as Paul wrote: “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us.”

            St. Paul, when he reviewed his life, especially the experiences he accumulated over three missionary journeys, declared: “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.”

            If we look back at our life, we might also recognize something as Paul’s experience. Our sufferings came from all directions, such as: catastrophes, war, poverty, sickness, job, contention in family and society; but why do we still live and could overcome these sufferings? It is because of God’s grace and our hope in Him. We believe that God shall let us to share his everlasting glory.

  

1.2/ We suffered so that we might bring people to God: According to Paul, when we were baptized, we emerged ourselves in Christ’s Passion and death so that when we rise up, we also share in his resurrection and glory. In today passage, Paul described this point as follows: “We are always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”

            As Jesus endured sufferings in his Passion to die and to bring life for human beings, his disciples must also suffer to preach the Gospel and to bring people back to God. St. Paul recognized the deep meaning of suffering as he wrote: “So death is at work in us, but life in you... For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.” The reason why the disciples could embrace suffering even to the point of death is because they strongly believe that God shall raise them from death: “Knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into His presence.”

2/ Gospel: Human body in the familial vocation

  

2.1/ Adultery in thought: Two main elements that constitute the sacrament of Matrimony: first, to love each other; secondly, to give birth for God’s children. Sex is never the main purpose of marriage, but only the result of love between the two spouses. When two people get marry, the main purpose is love: since they love God, they want to express love for each other and for children. They want to use their body to express God’s love for each other. Therefore, they must faithfully love each other all the days of their life, as the Law forbids: Do not commit adultery!

            Not only that, they must also avoid all occasions which shall damage their love with God and spouse. Jesus knows desire shall lead to act, so he wants people to control their desire as he said: “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

            All parts of a human body have important function to extend God’s kingdom as said above; but if a part doesn’t fulfill its function, but also causes damage for the soul, people must do to it as Jesus teaches: “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.”

  

2.2/ Husband and wife must be loyal to each other until their death: Understanding the meaning of the sacrament of Matrimony and the purpose of human body as such, people must be loyal to each other all the days of their life, as Jesus teaches: “So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mt 19:6). Moses permitted divorce because of human hardness of heart. The Church permits divorce in many cases also due to human weakness.  

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:             

             - God gives each of us a human body, not to enjoy it, but to work for salvation of ourselves and others.

            - We must use the parts of our human body for preaching the Good News to extend God’s kingdom. If we don’t, they shall become witnesses to condemn us.

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