Fourteenth Sunday in the Ordinary TimeC
Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Fourteenth Sunday in the Ordinary TimeC

Sunday of the 14 OTC

 

Readings: Isa 66:10-14c; Gal 6:14-18; Lk 10:1-9.

 

1/ Reading I: RSV Isaiah 66:10 "Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her; 11 that you may suck and be satisfied with her consoling breasts; that you may drink deeply with delight from the abundance of her glory." 12 For thus says the LORD: "Behold, I will extend prosperity to her like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream; and you shall suck, you shall be carried upon her hip, and dandled upon her knees. 13 As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem. 14 You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice; your bones shall flourish like the grass; and it shall be known that the hand of the LORD is with his servants, and his indignation is against his enemies.

 

2/ Reading II: RSV Galatians 6:14 But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16 Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule, upon the Israel of God. 17 Henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.

 

3/ Gospel: RSV Luke 10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to come. 2 And he said to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and salute no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, `Peace be to this house!' 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you. 7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages; do not go from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you; 9 heal the sick in it and say to them, `The kingdom of God has come near to you.'"



I. THEME: Three most necessary truths of our life

            People are confused and scuffled between the truth and the falsity, the worship of the Creator and creatures made by His hands, the ultimate purpose of life and the means; the main duty and daily tasks. For examples: The ultimate goal of our life is to reach the kingdom of God, not to build the splendid and marvelous buildings so that there shall come a day when “there will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down” (Mk 13:2). The faith in Christ is the only way to reach salvation, not power nor fame nor any other things. Our main duty in this life is to preach the Gospel so that people might recognize and believe in Christ in order to have salvation, not any supplementary duties.

            Today readings give us three correct truths, they are: the ultimate goal of our life; the faith to reach that goal; and the duty we must fulfill to reach that goal. In the first reading, the prophet Isaiah had a clear and futuristic view of Jerusalem’s peace after a period of the painful exile. This is also the goal which the faithful look for when they have to work hard and to endure many sufferings in this world; their goal is to live in the peace of the heavenly Jerusalem. In the second reading, St. Paul confirmed that Christ’s cross is the guaranteed sign for the faith in the happy paradise. This belief must remain deep in the faithful’s soul so that they should not be swayed by any worldly doctrines and temptations. In the Gospel, Jesus sent out his seventy-two disciples to preach the Gospel and commanded them to concentrate on the principal thing that is for God’s kingdom to come. The faithful’s must remember their main duty is to preach the Gospel and to bring people to God, not any other duties.

II. ANALYSIS

1/ Reading I: To live in the heavenly Jerusalem is the ultimate goal of our life.

           

1.1/ Jerusalem shall be recovered by God: Jerusalem is the center of the Israelites’ life because the temple is the sign of God’s dwelling among them. After 587 B.C., the temple was completely destroyed; Zion city and its surrounding walls were also entirely demolished; and people were on exile in Babylon. To the Israelites who had no faith, that year ended their faith in God because there is no more temple for God’s dwelling. But to prophets, Jerusalem shall be recovered and become the center for people of all nations to come. After the exilic pain and shame is the full glory which God shall give for those who believe in Him. Chapter sixty-six is the last chapter of the Third Book of Isaiah and talked about Jerusalem’s glory after the exile. He wrote, “Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her; that you may suck and be satisfied with her consoling breasts; that you may drink deeply with delight from the abundance of her glory."

 

1.2/ God still loves Jerusalem: The author described God’s love for Jerusalem with different images: God shall pour down countless blessings on Jerusalem, “Behold, I will extend prosperity to her like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream; and you shall suck, you shall be carried upon her hip, and dandled upon her knees.”

            Jerusalem’s image which the prophet Isaiah described here isn’t only limited on Jerusalem after the exile because it was also completely destroyed by the Roman armies on 70 A.D. The faithful must put their trust in the heavenly Jerusalem where no power can destroy it.

2/ Reading II: St. Paul’s confirmation, “Far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ”

2.1/ How can one have true peace?

            (1) Christ’s cross is the faithful’s pride: This is the last four verses of Paul’s Letter to the Galatians and he wanted to summarize what he had said to the faithful in the whole Letter. The faithful should not find their pride in anything that the world offers, such as: power, fame, richness, enjoyment because these things don’t bring salvation for them; but their pride must be in Christ’s cross because through it, their sins are redeemed and they are reconciled with God. St. Paul declared, “But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

            (2) The rule to have true peace: For the faithful, what is matter for them isn’t about the circumcision nor the keeping of the Law, but about becoming a new creation—following the Holy Spirit’s guidance to completely live for Christ. St. Paul taught, “For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule, upon the Israel of God.”

            The true peace has a close relation with the faithful’s faith in Christ: Once they know about God’s plan of salvation, the faithful are no longer worry about their sins and death. They know that if they believe and keep what Christ teaches, they shall live forever with God. It is due to this confirmation that they have the true peace in their mind.

2.2/ “I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.”

            In their life, the faithful face many wrong teachings of the world and of many different religions. Once knew clearly God’s plan of salvation, the faithful shouldn’t let anyone shake his faith, nor let anything draw them out of Christ’s cross, nor let Christ’s marks on their body be blotted out. The marks which Paul mentioned here could be the five sacred wounds (stigmata) of Christ which many holy people, such as: St. Francis of Assisi, St. Gemma Galgani and Padre Pio of our era were given; it could also be the marks left on the body after the faithful went through suffering to witness for Christ; or it can be spiritually understood as the indelible mark which the sacrament of Baptism left in the faithful’s soul.

 

3/ Gospel: The disciple’s duty is to announce, “God’s kingdom has come near to you.”

3.1/ Textual criticism: According to Luke, Jesus chose not only the twelve apostles (also called disciples), but also many other disciples, to train and to send them out to preach the Gospel. Also in Luke, there are two times that Jesus sent his disciples out: The first time, Jesus sent out the twelve apostles (cf. Lk 9:1-6; Mt 10:1, 7-16; Mk 6:7-13). The second time is only in Luke, as today passage reported, “After this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to come.” In other Gospels, the second sending was reported before Jesus’ Ascension.

            Did Jesus send seventy or seventy-two disciples? According to B. Metzger, the difference in the early manuscripts can be said to be equally. According to the Alexandria Codex (A) and the Western manuscripts (most of the manuscripts of old Lain and Sinaitic Syriac), they had seventy-two disciples. Other Alexandrian manuscripts (Sinaiticus, L, and Delta) together with two manuscripts, f 1 and f 13, had seventy apostles. Therefore, it is difficult to determine which one is more accurate. Many Scriptural scholars went further in their commentary of the number seventy (based on Exo 24:1; Num 11:16) or seventy-two (based on the tradition which believed there were seventy-two persons whom translated the Septuagint from Hebrew or seventy-two nations in Genesis 10). All these commentary are guessing. Metzger, though choosing seventy-two, but he left it in the parenthesis to let people know that it is still in debate about this number.

           

3.2/ Jesus’ disciples are the messengers of the Good News.

            (1) The disciples must be conscious about their mission: Jesus knows all dangers which his disciples must face when he said to them, “Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.” He wants them to pay attention to two things:

            - “Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals.” These are things that prevent the preaching of the Gospels. If they worry too much about them, they shall think about the ways to have them and have little time for the preaching of the Gospel, or their preaching shall be no effective because of them. He wants them to spend all their time and effort for the preaching.

            - “And salute no one on the road.” Jesus doesn’t teach his disciples to be impolite or to separate from people. He only wants them to know the urgency of the preaching of the Gospel because it involves the salvation of others. When they spend time to salute, then they must talk; and their useless talking shall take their time from their preaching (cf. 2 Kgs 4:29).

            (2) To accept the Gospel is the condition to have peace: Jesus teaches his disciples, “Whatever house you enter, first say, `Peace be to this house!'” This shows the Gospel of salvation is given free of charge for all people. According to Luke, this peace has a close relationship with the salvation which Jesus brings to all people (cf. 1:79, 2:14-29, 7:50, 8:48, 12:51 and 19:38). To accept the Gospel is to have peace, “And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you.” What Jesus wants to imply here is that the peace in his disciples has power to make others also to be at peace.

3.3/ Disciples are the messengers of God’s kingdom:

            (1) Don’t look for worldly things: Many people reason that if they don’t bring money and bags, what shall they eat and have things to use when they need them? If one says something like that, he is disregarding God’s providence. Christ considers the disciples as his co-workers, and “the workers should receive their wages in this life” (cf. 1 Tim 5:18; cf. 1 Cor 9:7-14). Where the disciples shall receive wages is from the faithful. However, Jesus also stresses, “Remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages.” The preachers can’t demand special food; they must be able to eat the food of the local people. They can’t keep the Jewish kosher law. He also commands them, “Do not go from house to house” to find material gains or to look for better food or places.

            (2) Make God’s kingdom to quickly come: Jesus repeats the main duty of his disciples, “Heal the sick in it and say to them, `The kingdom of God has come near to you.'” God’s kingdom has come with Christ’s appearance and the disciples’ announcement of this Good News to all people.

           

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                    

            - The ultimate goal of our life is to reach the heavenly Jerusalem where God shall wipe out all tears; suffering and death shall no longer exist; and we shall live a happy life with God forever.

            - To attain that purpose, we must believe in Christ. He comes to wipe out our sins and to reconcile us with God. We need to know what he teaches us.

            - Our mission in this life is to work for our salvation and the salvation of others. We must not let ourselves be drawn into temporal allurements of this present world.