Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Tuesday in the sixteenth week of the Ordinary Time1

Tuesday of the 16 OT1

 

Readings: Exo 14:21-15:1; Mt 12:46-50.

1/ First Reading: RSV Exodus 14:21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 23 The Egyptians pursued, and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. 24 And in the morning watch the LORD in the pillar of fire and of cloud looked down upon the host of the Egyptians, and discomfited the host of the Egyptians, 25 clogging their chariot wheels so that they drove heavily; and the Egyptians said, "Let us flee from before Israel; for the LORD fights for them against the Egyptians." 26 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen." 27 So Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its wonted flow when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled into it, and the LORD routed the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. 28 The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen and all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not so much as one of them remained. 29 But the people of Israel walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 30 Thus the LORD saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the seashore. 31 And Israel saw the great work which the LORD did against the Egyptians, and the people feared the LORD; and they believed in the LORD and in his servant Moses. 15:1 Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the LORD, saying, "I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.”

2/ Gospel: RSV Matthew 12:46 While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. 47 48 But he replied to the man who told him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" 49 And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother."


I. THEME: Doing God’s will

 

            Our life itself is a mystery because we don’t always clearly understand what we must do; but we still do God’s will because we believe in God’s love and His plan for us. Only when we look back at our life, then we recognize God’s wonderful providence for us.

            Today readings show us the importance of doing God’s will though people don’t always understand it. In the first reading, the Israelites, under Moses’ leadership, got out of Egypt though they didn’t understand how they could do it; only when they safely crossed the Red Sea, then they recognized God’s power and love. In the Gospel, Jesus emphasizes upon the importance of doing God’s will. That is the important condition to become a member of God’s great family.

           

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: “Israel saw the great work which the Lord did against the Egyptians, and the people feared the Lord.”

1.1/ The unbelievable crossing of the Red Sea which is never happened in the history of humankind.

            God commanded Moses to stretch forth his hands over the sea to divide the water of the sea in two, making a path in the midst of the sea for people to cross over. The author reported, “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.”

            Seeing the Israelites were walking in the midst of the sea, the Egyptians’ armies following them also entered. “All Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.And in the morning watch, the Lord in the pillar of fire and of cloud looked down upon the host of the Egyptians, and discomfited the host of the Egyptians,clogging their chariot wheels so that they drove heavily; and the Egyptians said, "Let us flee from before Israel; for the Lord fights for them against the Egyptians."

            By that time, it is too late for them to return to their country. When all the Israelites reached the other side, God said to Moses, “"Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen."So Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its wonted flow when the morning appeared… The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen and all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not so much as one of them remained.”

1.2/ The Israelites recognized and praised God’s power: “Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the dead Egyptians upon the seashore.And Israel saw the great work which the Lord did against the Egyptians, and the people feared the Lord; and they believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.”

            The victory over the Egyptians at the Red Sea was completely by God’s power. As Moses foretold the Israelites that they didn’t need to fight with them; they only need to be still and to see God’s powerful arm to destroy Pharaoh’s mighty armies under the water of the Red Sea.

            Every year, the Israelites commemorate their Exodus out of Egypt and God’s glorious victory over the Egyptians at the Red Sea to remind each other God’s love and power. With bare feet, one million male immigrants, not counting women, children and animals, crossed over the Red Sea without being wet. Without weapon, they were victorious over Egypt’s mighty armies. They could do this because God’s mighty hand was with them. The Israelites want to remind their descendants of this night so that they should never forget God’s love and power.

            The prophetess Miriam composed a song to memorize this night which their choirs sing on the night of their Passover and the Christian choirs in everywhere sing on the vigil night of Easter. The song has these words, “I will sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously; the horse and His rider he has thrown into the sea.”      

2/ Gospel: “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

                       

2.1/ Doing God’s will is the condition to become a member of God’s household.       Matthew reported the event as follows: “While he was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers appeared outside, wishing to speak with him.Someone told him, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking to speak with you."But he said in reply to the one who told him, "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?"And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers.For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother."”

            When said these words, Jesus didn’t intend to insult his mother or familial relationship; but he wanted to emphasize two points:

            (1) All can become members of God’s household if they recognize and do God’s will.

            (2) The way to become members of God’s household is different with human way. According to human way, one becomes a member of the family either by being born in the family or by adoption. According to God’s way, one becomes God’s children by doing God’s will, or better, by believing Christ as the Son of God (Jn 1:12).

2.2/ Mary, Jesus’ mother, is the one who perfectly did God’s will: Like Jesus, all Mary’s life was dedicated to do God’s will. We can illustrate three main events in her life:

            (1) At the Annunciation: When the archangel Gabriel appeared to announce God’s plan of salvation, even Mary vowed to live a chasted life; but after she recognized God’s will, she humbly said to God through the archangel’s presence: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38).

            (2) At the wedding at Cana: When the Blessed Mary recognized the wine ran short, “The mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine." And Jesus said to her, "Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servers, "Do whatever he tells you" (Jn 2:4-5).

            (3) When she found Jesus in the Jerusalem temple: After three days of searching for their son, “They found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety." And he said to them, "Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" But they did not understand what he said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart” (Lk 2:48-51).

           

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                    

            - In life, we don’t always live according to our knowledge because there are times we must live according to our faith through obeying God’s will.

            - We do God’s will because we believe He has power over all things and loves us more than anyone in our life.