Friday in the seventeenth week of the Ordinary Time1
Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Friday in the seventeenth week of the Ordinary Time1

Friday of the 17 OT1

 

Readings: Lv 23:1, 4-11, 15-16, 27, 34b-37; Mt 13:54-58.

1/ First Reading: RSV Leviticus 23:1 The LORD said to Moses, 4 "These are the appointed feasts of the LORD, the holy convocations, which you shall proclaim at the time appointed for them. 5 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening, is the LORD's Passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread to the LORD; seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. 7 On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work. 8 But you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD seven days; on the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work." 9 And the LORD said to Moses, 10 "Say to the people of Israel, When you come into the land which I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest; 11 and he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, that you may find acceptance; on the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. 15 "And you shall count from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven full weeks shall they be, 16 counting fifty days to the morrow after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall present a cereal offering of new grain to the LORD. 27 "On the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; it shall be for you a time of holy convocation, and you shall afflict yourselves and present an offering by fire to the LORD. RSV Leviticus 23:34 On the fifteenth day of this seventh month and for seven days is the feast of booths to the LORD. 35 On the first day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work. 36 Seven days you shall present offerings by fire to the LORD; on the eighth day you shall hold a holy convocation and present an offering by fire to the LORD; it is a solemn assembly; you shall do no laborious work. 37 "These are the appointed feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim as times of holy convocation, for presenting to the LORD offerings by fire, burnt offerings and cereal offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings, each on its proper day.

2/ Gospel: RSV Matthew 13:54 and coming to his own country he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, "Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? 55 Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?" 57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house." 58 And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.


I. THEME: Live what we celebrate.

            Christianity isn’t only about one’s faith in God, celebrated by the ceremonies in the church; but this faith must be expressed out in the Christian’s life, as one author said, “Our life is the extension of the Mass.” The ceremonies help us to understand God’s mysteries through the historical events so that we know how to live these mysteries in our daily life. Only by doing that, the religion shall bring benefits for us.

            Today readings illustrate the need to understand the meaning of what the faithful celebrate before they can live their faith. In the first reading, the author of the Book of Leviticus explains the meaning and what people need to do in the Israelites’ four great feasts to worship God. In the Gospel, Jesus returned to his native town to preach and to do good for his fellow-country people; but they sinned against him right in the synagogue.

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: Four great feasts to honor God and people’s duties.

            The Lord said to Moses, “These are the appointed feasts of the Lord, the holy convocations, which you shall proclaim at the time appointed for them.”

1.1/ The feats of Passover and the Unleaven Bread:

            (1) The meaning: These two feasts are related because they share the same historical event. They are celebrated to memorize the day which God liberated the Israelites from their slavery to the Egyptians.

            - The Passover (Pasch): "In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening, is the Lord's Passover." The Lord’s angels passed over the Israelites’ houses which had the blood of the lamb on the doorposts; and the Israelites safely crossed over the Red Sea while the Pharaoh’s armies were sunken in the Sea.

            - The Unleaven Bread (Massôt): "And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread to the Lord; seven days you shall eat unleavened bread."

            (2) What people must do:

            - On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work.The purpose of this feast is for the Israelites to remember God’s love and power and to thank Him.

            - You shall present an offering by fire to the Lord seven days. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work.
            - When you come into the land which I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest. The purpose of this act is to thank God for His leading them to the Promise Land and to ask God to bless their first harvest of the year (wheat).

            - The priest shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, that you may find acceptance; on the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.

1.2/ The Pentecost: is also called the Weeks.

            (1) The meaning: Seven weeks or fifty days after the Unleaven Bread feast. The author wrote, “And you shall count from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven full weeks shall they be,counting fifty days to the morrow after the seventh Sabbath. The Jewish tradition celebrates this feast to memorize the event God gave the Ten Commandments to the Israelites through Moses on Sinai mountain, fifty days after their crossing of the Red Sea.

            (2) Things to do: “You shall present a cereal offering of new grain to the Lord.” Other details are clearly given in Leviticus 23:15-21.

           

1.3/ The Day of Atonement:

            (1) The meaning: "On the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement.” The purpose of this feast is to ask God’s forgiveness for all the sins the Israelites committed against God and others.

            (2) Things to do: “It shall be for you a time of holy convocation, and you shall afflict yourselves and present an offering by fire to the Lord.” The details of this feast, please read the Book of Leviticus, chapter 16.

  

1.4/ The Tabernacle (Sukkôt): is also called Booth or Tent.

            (1) The meaning: “On the fifteenth day of this seventh month and for seven days is the feast of booths to the Lord.” The purpose is to thank God for the second harvest of the year (grape and olive). The tradition celebrates this feast to remember the Israelites living in their tents during forty years in the deserts.

            (2) Things to do: “On the first day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work.Seven days you shall present offerings by fire to the Lord; on the eighth day you shall hold a holy convocation and present an offering by fire to the Lord; it is a solemn assembly; you shall do no laborious work.”The details of this feast, please read the Book of Number 29:12-38.

2/ Gospel: The truth was suffocated by prejudice and pride.

2.1/ Why didn’t Jesus’ fellow-countrymen recognize the truth?

            (1) From the beginning, the truth was recognized by Jesus’ fellow-countrymen. These people recognized Jesus’ power and wisdom when they were astonished and said, "Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds?” What they should truly find out is “from where” Jesus received such wisdom and power.

            (2) The truth was put aside because of pride and prejudice: Instead of finding out “from where” in order to believe in Jesus, they let pride and prejudice blindfold them from recognizing the truth. They were prideful because they didn’t want to accept Jesus is above them. They let prejudice influence them because they had a habit of insulting those who they knew and lived with. They said, “Is he not the carpenter's son? Is not his mother named Mary and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas?Are not his sisters all with us?”

2.2/ The result of their opposition to the truth: Instead of were learning Jesus’ wisdom and witnessing his power, they committed sins against him. Jesus spoke the truth, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house."And he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.”

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:

                    

            - We can’t separate what we celebrate in the church out of our life outside of the church. To benefit us, we must apply what we celebrate in the church to our daily life.

            - We can’t be the Catholics on Sunday and inside the church and live as the atheists after leaving that place. To live like that, we are only the hypocrites who worship God only with our mouth, but our heart is far away from Him.

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