Thursday in the fifteenth week of the Ordinary Time1
Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Thursday in the fifteenth week of the Ordinary Time1

Thursday of the 15 OT1

 

Readings: Ex 3:11-20; Mt 11:28-30.

1/ First Reading: RSV Exodus 3:11 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." 13 Then Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, `The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, `What is his name?' what shall I say to them?" 14 God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, `I AM has sent me to you.'" 15 God also said to Moses, "Say this to the people of Israel, `The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you': this is my name for ever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. 16 Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, `The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, "I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt; 17 and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt, to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey."' 18 And they will hearken to your voice; and you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him, `The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; and now, we pray you, let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.' 19 I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand. 20 So I will stretch out my hand and smite Egypt with all the wonders which I will do in it; after that he will let you go.”

2/ Gospel: RSV Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."


I. THEME: God wants to help people overcoming their sufferings.

            Different with the Greek and the majority of worldly religions who believe in the indifferent gods, Judaism, Islam and Christianity believe in the God who knows about human sufferings. He concerns about human sufferings and has ways to help people to overcome their sufferings. In return, people must come to Him, listen and do what He teaches so they could have strength to overcome their sufferings.

            Today readings want to emphasize this truth. In the first reading, God said to Moses, “I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt;and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt.” God has a plan to liberate them from their slavery to the Egyptians and to bring them into the Promise Land which He promised to their patriarchs. In the Gospel, Jesus fathoms people’s tiredness and heavy burden. He invites them to come to him to learn and to be refreshed by him so that their yoke become easy, and their burden become light.

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: God wants to liberate the Israelites from their slavery to the Egyptians.

1.1/ God reveals His most holy name for Moses: Moses raised a valid reason so God might reveal His holy name, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, `The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, `What is his name?' what shall I say to them?" God reveals to Moses two names at one time.

            (1) I am who I am: God said to Moses, “"I AM WHO I AM." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, `I AM has sent me to you.'"”

            In Hebrew, “I am” means “Yahweh,” is a verb, like the verb “to be”in English or the verb “essere” in Latin. God is always present. He is the “alpha” and the “omega,” the “origin” and the “end.” A French writer comments: Yahweh is God’s promise, “I am always with you;” or a prayer from a human being, “God, please always be with me.”

            (2) The God of your patriarchs: God said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, `The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you': this is my name for ever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.”

            When God gives Moses this name, He also repeats what He promised with the patriarchs that He shall protect their descendants forever if they loyally walk according to His way.

1.2/ God shall lead the Israelites into the Promise Land.

            (1) God concerns about the Israelites’ sufferings: God commanded Moses to gather the elders and to say to them, “The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, "I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt;and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt, to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey.””

            (2) God’s saving plan for the Israelites: First of all, Moses must persuade the elders of Israel to follow him. This is a difficult task, but God promises to Moses, “They shall hearken to your voice.” Then Moses together with the elders must go and meet the Egyptian king.

            - Asking permission to go from the king: “You and the elders shall say to him, `The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; and now, we pray you, let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.'”

            - When the king doesn’t grant the request, God shall use His power: God said to Moses, “I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand.So I will stretch out my hand and smite Egypt with all the wonders which I will do in it; after that he will let you go.”

            The Israelites’ sufferings were caused by the Egyptians; but the king shall not yield and let them go because he shall lose a large amount of labors. When the king didn’t yield, God shall use His power through the seven plagues so that the king might recognize his fault. Only with the last plague which is to kill all the Egyptian firstborns, the king agrees to release the Israelites from Egypt.

2/ Gospel: Let come to learn and to rest in Christ.

2.1/ Examination of our conscience before God: Tiredness can be from overworking (body) or too much pressure from life (spirit). Bodily tiredness can be recovered by rest; spiritual tiredness must be cured by spiritual way. Jesus showed us the way how to heal spiritual tiredness. The sacrament of the Eucharist is the most effective way to heal the spiritual tiredness. The words of God provide us peace and wipe away unnecessary worriness.

            Why do we try our best without success? It might be that we don’t know the way to reach the desired result. It might be that we worried so much about the thing which we shouldn’t need to worry as such. It might be that we are doing our will, our way and for our purpose which aren’t God’s will, His way and purpose.

            It may be the time that God invites us to look back and to learn the way which shall lead to success. It might be the time when God wants us to discard what are not necessary for our life. It might be the time for us to concentrate on what are important instead of what aren’t.

2.2/ Two lessons we need to learn from our master, Jesus: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves;for my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

            (1) Meekness: This is the second beatitude. We can learn from Jesus this virtue. He is God himself; he can destroy all those who reviled, scourged and killed him because he didn’t commit of any sin, but he didn’t do that. Instead, he chose the way of forgiveness. On the cross, he prayed to the God, “Father! forgive them because they know not what they do.” He reconciled people with God and others. He taught us to love, to forgive, to pray and to do good deeds to our enemies. Human beings also like those who are meek, gentle and easy to forgive. Wickedness and revenge make us hatred by all; we shall not find true peace by getting angry with people.

            (2) Humility: is the virtue that opposes to the sin of pride. No one likes the pride and those who always show that they know everything. Humility is to know oneself in the relationship with God and others. The humble know that all they have are from God, so they shouldn’t boast with others, but use their given gifts to extend God’s kingdom and to serve others. The pride steal God’s grace and always feel unrest because they fear that others shall be better than them. They are discontent when they don’t get what they want, and angry with all people.

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                    

            - God always concerns about our sufferings. He invites us to come to Him so that we could be taught, healed and refreshed.

            - We must come to Him to listen and to do what He teaches. Two lessons which we need to learn from Jesus’ Sacred Heart are to be gentle and humble.

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