Sixteenth Sunday in the Ordinary TimeC
Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Sixteenth Sunday in the Ordinary TimeC

Sunday of the 16 OTC

 

Readings: Gen 18:1-10a; Col 1:24-28; Lk 10:38-42.

1/ Reading I: RSV Genesis 18:1 And the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. 2 He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men stood in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the earth, 3 and said, "My lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. 4 Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, 5 while I fetch a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on -- since you have come to your servant." So they said, "Do as you have said." 6 And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, "Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes." 7 And Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it. 8 Then he took curds, and milk, and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate. 9 They said to him, "Where is Sarah your wife?" And he said, "She is in the tent." 10 The LORD said, "I will surely return to you in the spring, and Sarah your wife shall have a son." And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him.

2/ Reading II: RSV Colossians 1:24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the divine office which was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now made manifest to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man mature in Christ.

3/ Gospel: RSV Luke 10:38 Now as they went on their way, he entered a village; and a woman named Martha received him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving; and she went to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me." 41 But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; 42 one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her."



I. THEME: Hospitality

             Receiving a guest into our house is an art which requires us to know many things; but two most important things are our guest’s preferences and our living condition. Some people think the most solemn way to welcome a guest is to have many fancy food; but if these food don’t suit the guest’s taste and preference, it is a waste of time and food. Other people are so simple, they treat their guest as a simple folk and have no concern for their guest’s preference. This attitude violates their guest’s honor.

            Today reading help us to improve the art of receiving guests, especially when we receive God, the most important guest of our life. In the first reading, the patriarch Abraham, even he didn’t know who are the three passing-by guests, he received them with his whole heart. This kind hospitality pleased them and they concerned about Abraham and Sarah’s barrenness. They promised them that next year, when they come back and vist them, Sarah shall give birth a son for Abraham to continue his lineages. In the second reading, St. Paul clearly knew what his most important Guest needs and his ability to provide it. He asked to be endured all sufferings which Christ is still needed for his Body, the Church, to reach the perfect mark. In the Gospel, Mary knew what Jesus prefers when he came to visit her family, so she sits at Jesus’ feet to listen to his teaching. When Martha, her older sister, complained to Jesus because Mary didn’t help her in the kitchen’s tasks, Jesus helped Martha to recognize that she didn’t understand God’s will, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her.”

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: “My lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant.”

1.1/ Abraham’s hospitality: According to the passage, there is only the author of Genesis who knew one of the three guests is God. Abraham didn’t know this because all three guests have the human forms.

            If we study Abraham’s hospitality, we see the way which he received his guests reaches the perfection. We can point out some of them:

            (1) These are strangers. Abraham didn’t know them. They just passed by his tent.

            (2) They accidentally came. Abraham had no time to prepare in advance.

            (3) They came at the most heat of the day. No one wants to cook dinner at such hot time.

            (4) Abraham joyfully run out of the tent and begged the three guests to come in.

            (5) He kindly and specially received them: He bowed before them; took water to wash their feet; invited them to the table for dinner; and stood around to serve when they were eating.

            (6) Abraham was very generous in preparing the dinner for his guests: the young calf, three measures of fine meal, curds and milk.

            All these acts proved Abraham and Sarah’s hospitality. This passage has many textual problems because the author used the singular and the plural interchangeably. In v.3, the one whom Abraham talked to is used at the second person singular, “My lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant.” In vv. 4-5, they are used at the second person plural. Some scholars questioned that did Abraham recognize God who visited him? And if yes, when did he recognize Him? Some scholars used this passage to prove the mystery of the Holy Trinity.         

1.2/ The guest(s) promised a reward for Abraham and Sarah’s hospitality: Since Abraham didn’t know the one who visits him is God, at least from the beginning, so Abraham’s hospitality is purely in gratitude because he didn’t aim at anything. The Old Testament tradition used to advise people to be ready to welcome guests who visit their house, because they never know if they are angels whom God sends to visit them; for example, the archangel Raphael visited Tobit’s family.

            After received Abraham’s hospitality, the guest asked Abraham about Sarah, his wife. He promised to give Abraham and Sarah a great reward, that is: to have a son in their old ages. The Lord said to Abraham, “I will surely return to you in the spring, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.”

2/ Reading II: I rejoice in my sufferings for Christ and the Church.

2.1/ St. Paul knew what Christ desires to have.

            To love someone is to know his temperament and preferences. If people love God, they shall try to fulfill the first three petitions of the “Our Father.” They are: For God’s name is glorified; for His kingdom comes and for His will to be done in heaven as well as on earth.

            St Paul loves Christ; he knew two of Christ’s desires: Firstly, Christ wants the salvation to be extended to all people through the preaching of the Gospel. Secondly, Christ wants the Church, his Mystical Body, to become holy and blameless through God’s words and the sacraments.

           

2.2/ St. Paul wants to fulfill Christ’s wills.

            (1) To preach the Gospel is to accept sufferings and to lack of many things, because worldly people don’t always accept it. That is the reason why he said, “In my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions.” These afflictions could be the refuse to hear the Gospel, scourges, prison and even the death.

            But the Gospel has power to change people and to help them to attain salvation. Paul said to the Colossian faithful, “Him (Christ) we proclaim, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man mature in Christ… To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

            (2) To sanctify the Church: When received the sacrament of Baptism, the faithful are become the parts of Christ’s body, the Church. Therefore, Paul finds all possible ways for the Church to become pure, holy, and especially always united in charity. St. Paul proudly proclaimed, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the divine office which was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now made manifest to his saints.”

 

3/ Gospel: “Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her.”

3.1/ Mary chose to sit beside Jesus’ feet to hear his teaching.

            Many of us also think like Martha, Mary her sister is lazy; she chose the easy way and let all works for Martha to do. But Mary’s choice is very wise and calculated as Jesus praised her, “Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her.” Some reasons which Mary could be based on to make her choice:

            (1) Mary clearly knew the priority of life: She knows that she must choose God above all thing as the first commandment teaches. This is obvious in principle, but not easy to follow in reality. Mary knew no one has the word of wisdom which brings life as Jesus; therefore, she delayed all other things to listen to what Jesus wants to reveal.

            (2) Mary knew how to take advantage of the opportunity when it came: Some people who are so busy to preach the Gospel as Jesus, isn’t easy to meet. Mary knew her chance to converse with Jesus is rare; if she doesn’t take advantage of it; there could be no other chance. We need to learn from her so that when God sends His preachers to meet us; we know how to arrange our time so we can listen to them. Do not suppose that we shall have another opportunity so we shall not be regretful later.

            (3) Mary knew hospitality isn’t only limited in serving but also in conversation: Mary saw her sister was so busy with serving; she chose to have conversation with Jesus. Many of us didn’t pay attention to this delicate aspect so we let our guest sit alone in the guest room while we are preparing food in the kitchen. Understand so, Mary’s decision is wise: she converses with Jesus while her sister is preparing food.

3.2/ Martha chose to cook for Jesus.

            When a precious guest like Jesus visits Martha’s house, it is the opportunity for the host to show her hospitality and talent of cooking. We aren’t surprise to see Martha who was so busy with serving to the point that she came to him and complain, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me." To her surprise, the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her." There are many lessons we can learn from Jesus’ answer:

            (1) Martha didn’t understand the priority of life: Jesus corrected her fault when he said, “Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her.” The food, even they are so good, shall pass away; but God’s words remain in people’s mind and shall enlighten them so they know how to live in order to have a happy life.

            (2) Martha didn’t pay attention to others’ need: She might think that only her work is matter and the conversation is useless! This is an error which many of us have. We should not make others to think like ours because each of us has different thinking and actions. We also don’t have enough knowledge to decide which work is the best, until that work is clearly declared by God.

            (3) Martha didn’t know how to arrange her time and tasks: She might not know in advance when Jesus comes because ancient people don’t have a habit of making appointment like us. Whatever happened, Martha should not pay attention too much to food because our guests come to visit, not to only eat! Our Vietnam families need to pay attention to this point so we shall not make too much food for guests. In most of the meals, our guests didn’t consume a half of our prepared food. The host must eat the leftovers or throw them away. In such cases, we unnecessarily wasted our food.

           

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                    

            - Two commandments, “Love God and love others,” require us to have the hospitality with God and others. To properly express our hospitality, we need to know what God and others want, and what we can do.

            - To give a sumptuous dinner is not a sign of hospitality; because when we pay too much attention to the preparing food, we could leave out the necessary and good manners which can hurt our guests.

            - The spiritual values, such as salvation, preaching the Gospel, unity and religious practicing must be put above eating, drinking and partying.

Donation (credit card)

Thanks for your supporting.

Amount: