Monday in the fourteenth week of the Ordinary Time1
Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Monday in the fourteenth week of the Ordinary Time1

Monday of the 14 OT1

 

Readings: Gen 28:10-22; Mt 9:18-26.

1/ First Reading: RSV Genesis 28:10 Jacob left Beersheba, and went toward Haran. 11 And he came to a certain place, and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. 12 And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! 13 And behold, the LORD stood above it and said, "I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your descendants; 14 and your descendants shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and by you and your descendants shall all the families of the earth bless themselves. 15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done that of which I have spoken to you." 16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, "Surely the LORD is in this place; and I did not know it." 17 And he was afraid, and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven." 18 So Jacob rose early in the morning, and he took the stone which he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. 19 He called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of the city was Luz at the first. 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, 21 so that I come again to my father's house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God, 22 and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God's house; and of all that thou gives me I will give the tenth to thee."

2/ Gospel: RSV Matthew 9:18 While he was thus speaking to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, "My daughter has just died; but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live." 19 And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples. 20 And behold, a woman who had suffered from a hemorrhage for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment; 21 for she said to herself, "If I only touch his garment, I shall be made well." 22 Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, "Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well." And instantly the woman was made well. 23 And when Jesus came to the ruler's house, and saw the flute players, and the crowd making a tumult, 24 he said, "Depart; for the girl is not dead but sleeping." And they laughed at him. 25 But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. 26 And the report of this went through all that district.


I. THEME: God concerns about human life.

           

            Many people doubted about God’s providence and said, “How could God at one time hear so many people’s prayers at different places and remember all these prayers to grant them?” The Scripture shows many times that God uses His angels as messengers to convey people’s prayers to God and to bring God’s commands or blessings to people. The guardian angels are those who have a direct duty with people.

            Today readings show God always concerns about human life, especially in their worries, despair and death. In the first reading, the author of the Book of Genesis reported Jacob’s dream of a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it” as messengers between God and His people. In his dream, the Lord stood at the ladder’s top and promised that He shall do what He promised to Abraham and Isaac; He also promised to Jacob that He shall protect him everywhere and in all things that he shall do. In the Gospel, Jesus healed two unclean people: One woman who suffered hemorrhage but with strong faith, she came and touched the fringe of Jesus’ garment and was healed. And one little girl who had been death, but because of her father’s strong faith, Jesus came, touched and raised her from dead.

II. ANALYSIS

1/ Reading I: God confirms Isaac’s blessing for Jacob.

1.1/ Jacob’s dream of the ladder: The passage reported, “Jacob left Beersheba, and went toward Haran.And he came to a certain place, and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep.And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it!”

            Jacob was on the way to hide from Esau, his brother, because he followed his mother’s plan to take away Esau’s first-born blessing from Isaac, his father. Jacob feared Easau shall revenge so he ran away to protect his life. Dream is one way God often uses to reveal His will as we shall see it more often in the stories of Joseph, one of Jacob’s sons. The ladder is used to connect between the heaven and the earth; and the angels are God’s messengers; they bring God’s commands for people and convey people’s prayers to God.

            In the Gospel according to John, Jesus reminded this ladder for Nathanael and likened himself as this ladder which God’s angels shall ascend and descend (Jn 1:51). God’s promise to Jacob has two parts:

            (1) In the first part, God repeats what He promises to Abraham and Isaac about the givings of the Promise Land, the numerous descendants and blessings, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your descendants;and your descendants shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and by you and your descendants shall all the families of the earth bless themselves.”

            (2) In the second part, God promises to protect Jacob, “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done that of which I have spoken to you.” Through this promise, God wants to show Jacob that He isn’t limited in space and time; Jacob shouldn’t worry about any enemies. This promise was achieved when Jacob traveled to Egypt to unite with Joseph, his son; and when he dies, he was brought to the ancestral land which God promised.

            When Jacob awoke, he said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” The Canaan land which Jacob was lying belonged to the Gentiles. Mentioned this fact, the author of Genesis wants to show that only the Lord of the Israelites is the true God; He presents everywhere, even the place which was considered the sacred place of the Gentiles.

1.2/ Jacob’s actions: After woke up from the dream, Jacob did the two following things:

            (1) Named that place Bethel: Jacob was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven."So, Jacob rose early in the morning, took the stone which he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it.He called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of the city was Luz at the first. Taking a stone and putting oil over it is considered today as the ceremony of putting the first stone before building a church on top of it. The house of God shall be built at Bethel and become the temple of Israel later. Bethel is only about 10 km from Jerusalem toward the south and an important battlefield.

            (2) Offered a vow to God: Jacob’s vow also had two parts:

            - God’s part: Jacob said: "If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear,so that I come again to my father's house in peace,”

            - Jacob’s part: "Then the Lord shall be my God,and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God's house; and of all that thou gives me I will give the tenth to thee." The habit of offering the tenth of one’s income for God is clearly described in the Book of Levi, has its origin here.”

2/ Gospel: Jesus had power to heal and to raise the dead.

2.1/ Jesus healed the hemorrhaged woman: There are two questions that related to the healing, and two parallel passages of Mark 5:21-43 and Luke 8:40-56 shall clarify Matthew’s short passage.

            (1) Why the woman didn’t ask Jesus to heal her? First, the Law prohibits to touch the bleeding woman as this one because she is unclean (Lv 15:25). The woman might avoid for Jesus to be “publicly” unclean, she thought that “If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.” Or she could think that how a sick woman like her can compete with a crowd, to be in front of Jesus and ask for a healing. Whatever reason, she showed a very strong faith in Jesus. According to Mark, though she endured this sickness and tried to heal it for twelve years without a result, but she thought that she only needs to touch Jesus’ cloak, she shall be healed.

            (2) Why did Jesus asked, “Who touched me?” Markan passage gave a hint that Jesus felt a power that escaped him. That is the moment of the encounter of faith, why should Jesus not recognize it? Jesus clearly knew who touched him; but he wanted the woman to come forward due to many reasons. First, he wanted to confirm that faith can achieve all thing when he said to her, “Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.” Next, he wanted to teach the crowd the strength of faith. Lastly, he might want to let the woman know he cared for her and did not concerned about her uncleaniness.

2.2/ Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter from dead: Markan and Lukan accounts clearly described this official is Jairus, the head of the synagogue. His humility, expressed by his kneeling down before Jesus to ask for a favor for his daughter, touched Jesus’ heart. He agreed to come to his house to raise his daughter.

            Being the head of the synagogue, he knew that the law prohibits to touch a death body because it is unclean; but out of his deep love for his daughter, he asked Jesus, “My daughter has just died. But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.”

            “When Jesus arrived at the official's house and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion,he said, "Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping." And they ridiculed him.When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand, and the little girl arose.And news of this spread throughout all that land.”

            Why did Jesus say, “The girl is not dead but sleeping.” Jesus might want to teach people that death is only a long sleep, not the end; when they open their eyes, they shall be resurrected with God.

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                    

            - God always concerns about human life. We should have a believing attitude and pray to Him in all circumstances of life, whether in happiness or sadness.

            - We should never be despair no matter how terrible the situation is. If God can raise people from dead, nothing is impossible for Him.

            - God is always faithful in what He promises. He always protects His children though they were scattered in any place.