Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Wednesday in the fifteenth week of the Ordinary Time1

Wednesday of the 15 OT1

 

Readings: Exo 3:1-6, 9-12; Mt 11:25-27

1/ First Reading: RSV Exodus 3:1 Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian; and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and lo, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, "I will turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt." 4 When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here am I." 5 Then he said, "Do not come near; put off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." 6 And he said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. 9 And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come; I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring forth my people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt." 11 But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?" 12 He said, "But I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought forth the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God upon this mountain."

2/ Gospel: RSV Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus declared, "I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; 26 yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will. 27 All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.


I. THEME: God reveals His mysteries for the little ones.

            From the eighteenth century until now, due to the advancement of science, many people think they must re-examine their faith in God. Some even suggest that when science advances more, human faith in God is no longer needed. J.H. Newman, a Catholic convert, was very surprise when he saw many of his friends, though they are wise and intellectual, gave up their faith in God! People don’t know that no matter how far science could advance, it only discovers God’s principles of creation and providence. It never can replace God, the Creator of all things. Moreover, there are still more wonderful things which human can’t fathom them yet.

            Today God’s words give a serious warning for people: God likes to reveal for the little and the humble. In other words, the knowledge of God is received not according to human way, that is, one needs not to be wise and intellectual to know it; but only with a humble attitude. The faith of the simple men and women are the proof of this.

            Today readings show us those who are revealed by God. In the first reading, God revealed His most sacred name for Moses and handed to him the mission of liberating the Israelites from Egypt, though he confessed that he is only a lowly and unskilled man. In the Gospel, Jesus praised His Father, the Lord of heaven and earth, because He hid the mysteries from the wise and the intellectual, but revealed them to the little and the lowly.

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: Jesus revealed for Moses from the burning bush.

1.1/ God revealed Himself for Moses: The author of the Book of Exodus reported, “Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian; and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and lo, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed.And Moses said, "I will turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt."”

            When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here am I."Then he said, "Do not come near; put off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground."And he said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."

            This is one expression of God’s name which the Israelites are so familiar with and confident because God promises to their patriarchs that He shall bless and protect their descendants. The Jewish tradition believes that no one can see God and be survived. This is the reason why “Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.”

1.2/ God gives Moses the mission to liberate the Israelites from Egypt: God said to Moses, “Behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them.Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring forth my people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt."But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?"

            Three difficulties which Moses must face: Firstly, how a shepherd with no soldier like him can face the mighty armies of the Egyptian king? Secondly, how can he make the Israelites to believe that he can lead them out of Egypt? Lastly, he is hiding from Pharaoh.

            What is impossible to men is always possible to God. He said to Moses, “I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought forth the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God upon this mountain.” God promises in advance to Moses that he shall be victorious over King Pharaoh.

2/ Gospel: Why the little can understand the mystery of the heaven.

2.1/ God likes to reveal for the little: There are several special words which we need to understand before we can understand Jesus’ meaning:

            - To hide (krýptô): There are two meanings: First, to hide something so others can’t see it; for example, to hide gold in a field. Secondly, to hide a secret so others can’t discover it; for example, to hide one’s origin or secret. Jesus wanted to talk about the second case.

            - To reveal (apokalýptô) means to make a secret to be known, to bring to light what is in darkness or to help a person to understand what they don’t know or only know little.

            - The little (nếpios): can indicate a child or those who don’t come to an age as the law determines (for example, 18 years old).

            (1) St. Paul compared the immaturity of the Corinthian faithful as the little because they still saw spiritual things with the little’s eyes. They were still needed to feed by milk, not by the mature’s food for those who has been grown up (téleios) (1 Cor 3:1).

            (2) Jesus compared between the wise and the intelligent (sophós and synetós) with the little (nếpios) to tell the audience that they need to have the child’s attitude: believed, humble and eager to learn so that he can teach them knowledge about God. A prideful and suspected attitude shall prevent them to recognize what he wanted to reveal to them. When people receive knowledge about God, they must have the child’s attitude: all are new to them.

2.2/ Knowledge about God: Jesus said, “All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

            (1) Jesus is the one who knows the Father more than anyone else: The Greek verb which was used here is “epiginốskô,” means to know a person or a thing as he is or it is. People understand about God with a different degree; only Jesus understands about God in a perfect degree. This is no surprise because he is the word (lógos) or God’s mind. He and the Father are one.

            (2) People know about God through Jesus’ revelation: If God doesn’t choose to reveal Himself to men, they can never know Him. Christ is God’s revelation; he came to reveal the Father for people as he declared to his disciples, “who sees me, sees the Father.” Moreover, in order for people to understand Jesus’ revelation, they need the Holy Spirit, sent by the Father, to guide them.

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                    

            - The true science helps us to find God, not to deny Him, because its goal is to discover God’s principles in the universe. We must be careful in studying and evaluating the scientific discoveries.

            - To understand God’s hidden things, we need to have a humble attitude to recognize our human limitation. An arrogant attitude shall prevent us from discovering God’s secrets and He shall not reveal to those who have such an attitude.

            - To understand God, we must learn from Christ because he himself is God’s revelation. Without Christ, we shall never have a perfect knowledge about God.