Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Twenty-second Sunday in the Ordinary TimeC

Sunday of the 22 OTC

 

Readings: Sir 3:17-18, 20, 28-29; Heb 12:18-19, 22-24a; Lk 14:1, 7-14.

 

1/ Reading I: RSV Sirach 3:17 My son, perform your tasks in meekness; then you will be loved by those whom God accepts. 18 The greater you are, the more you must humble yourself; so you will find favor in the sight of the Lord. 19 20 For great is the might of the Lord; he is glorified by the humble. 28 The affliction of the proud has no healing, for a plant of wickedness has taken root in him. 29 The mind of the intelligent man will ponder a parable, and an attentive ear is the wise man's desire.

 

2/ Reading II: RSV Hebrews 12:18 For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest, 19 and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers entreat that no further messages be spoken to them. 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23 and to the assembly of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks more graciously than the blood of Abel.

 

3/ Gospel: RSV Luke 14:1 One Sabbath when he went to dine at the house of a ruler who belonged to the Pharisees, they were watching him. 7 Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he marked how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, 8 "When you are invited by any one to a marriage feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest a more eminent man than you be invited by him; 9 and he who invited you both will come and say to you, `Give place to this man,' and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, `Friend, go up higher'; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. 11 For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." 12 He said also to the man who had invited him, "When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your kinsmen or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just."



I. THEME: Be humble and help the lowly! 

 

            Pride is a very bad habit, seems to dwell in us and waits for opportunities to explode. This sin is originated from Adam and Eve, who wanted to be equal to God and ate the fruit of the tree which God prohibited them. The results of their sins are: to be separated from God; to suffer and to die. From that time until now, this sin becomes more and more increasing in humanity, separates people from God, causes hatred among people, divides their family, and prevents people from reaching the ultimate goal of their life.

            Today readings provide us an effective medicine to cure our pride by training to have the virtue of humility. In the first reading, the author of the Book of Sirach teaches his children to acquire humility in order to be blessed by God and to be loved by others. The more one has a higher position, the more one needs to be humble for God’s blessings and others’ co-operation. Humility helps people to learn many precious lessons in their life. In the second reading, the author of the Letter to the Hebrews teaches the faithful to revere God and to love Christ. Without Christ, no one can approach God; by Christ’s blood, people are purified and reconciled with God; they could call Him their Father. In the Gospel, Jesus teaches his disciples to always be humble in behaving and serving because God loves and blesses such people.

 

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: The benefits of living humble

           

1.1/ God loves the humble: The author of Sirach teaches his children, “My son, perform your tasks in meekness; then you will be loved by those whom God accepts. The greater you are, the more you must humble yourself; so you will find favor in the sight of the Lord.”

            The humble are those who know their true identity in their relations with God and others. They know how to correctly appreciate God’s grace poured upon them while the prideful steal His grace—take His as their own. The humble know they are only creatures, created by God. They know their wisdom can’t be compared to God’s wisdom because He is the origin of all wisdom; their power is originated from God and He can take away from them anytime. They know all properties belong to God and He gives to all men to use them. Therefore, they always obey God and carefully keep what God teaches them; aren’t arrogant when exercising their authority on others and don’t rely on their richness. Since they know how to correctly evaluate and live their true relationship with God and others, they shall be loved, blessed and protected all their life by God.

 

1.2/ Other profits happen to those who live humbly.

            (1) Most people love the humble: The humble are surrounded by their friends while the prideful have only bad friends and more enemies. In leadership, the humble are loved by those who are above them, and are obeyed by those who are under them, because they behave with others in a way that is corresponded with their dignity and position.

            (2) The virtue of humility helps the humble to recognize others’ wisdom and goodness to learn and to be advanced; while the prideful take themselves as the measure stick for others. When they don’t see any lacking on themselves, they have no need to learn from others.

            (3) The humble see all bad habits they need to correct; therefore, they advance more and more on their virtuous life; while the prideful can’t see their weakness or shortcoming, they are more and more deeply in sins.

            (4) The humble are quick to listen and slow to talk; therefore, they acquire more knowledge for themselves; while the prideful are quick to talk because they want to display what they have. Their knowledge is limited and because they like to talk, so it shall be a time they run out of things to talk about.

2/ Reading II: The proper attitude for human beings before God.

2.1/ Human beings are nothing before God.

            The author of the Letter to the Hebrews recalled God’s theophany on Mount Sinai, with a purpose to remind the faithful the infinitive difference between God and human beings, so that they must revere God and have a proper attitude toward Him. If God doesn’t permit, no one can see God without dead; no one can hear what God declares.

            The author said, “For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers entreat that no further messages be spoken to them. For they could not endure the order that was given, "If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned." Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, "I tremble with fear"” (Heb 12:18-21).

            Moses, though had many experiences because he conversed with God face-to-face, had such terrible fear; how a normal person can endure this fear! The one thing that causes lots of damages for people might be their lacking of reverence for God and insulting of His teaching. Lacking of reverence for God also leads to people’s pride and arrogance; they consider them as gods and don’t listen and keep what God teaches them.

 

2.2/ People only come to God through Christ.

            The author of Hebrews doesn’t want the faithful to see God as a fearful God, so they shall avoid Him; but He wants them to come to God as the lovely Father through Christ as the mediator, “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks more graciously than the blood of Abel.”

            Christ washes people from sins by his blood poured out for them on the cross. Because of this purification, he reconciles people with God and brings salvation for them.

            With Christ, people are no longer afraid of God, but they can call God their Father. However, people must avoid the attitude of insulting God when they are so familiar with Him. With Christ, people are invited to attend the festal gathering with all angels and holy persons on Mount Zion where God dwells, the heavenly Jerusalem.

 

3/ Gospel: “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

           

3.1/ The humble choose the last place: Many people like to be respected and seen as the important person; one of this sign is to have the seats of honor in big
gatherings. Jesus teaches his disciples to avoid this bad habit by telling them a story as follows, “When you are invited by any one to a marriage feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest a more eminent man than you be invited by him; and he who invited you both will come and say to you, `Give place to this man,' and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, `Friend, go up higher'; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

            There are many reasons behind Jesus’ wise advice:

            (1) People can’t rightly evaluate themselves nor demand respect from others; but they must let others evaluate and show respect for them. When attending a wedding, we don’t know who the host invited and his relationship with them. When we choose to have a place of honor, we think we are deserved to be at that place, not the host’ thinking. We shall be shameful with others when the host asks us to have a lower seat.

            (2) The humble recognize that they aren’t the center which everyone must turn to because in the world, there are so many people who are better than them about wisdom, knowledge, power, virtues and talents.

            (3) The last place is the safest place because no one can push the one who seats on it lower. When choosing the last place, the humble have the true peace since they don’t worry about to how to compete for seats and positions with others. The prideful shall have no peace when they see others to be treated with honor more than them.

3.2/ The humble love and help the poor.

            People have another bad habit when they prepare a banquet; they have a tendency to invite members of their family, relatives and friends. They also invite only those whom they think shall invite them back, or can help them anyway in the future. Jesus advised his disciples to recognize their intention when throwing a banquet. Jesus, of course, doesn’t prohibit them to invite members of their family; but he wants them to pay attention also to their benefits for the future life.

            (1) The present reward: Jesus said also to the man who had invited him, "When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your kinsmen or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and you be repaid."

            (2) The future reward: Jesus continued, “But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

            In chapter twenty-five of the Gospel according to Matthew, Jesus clearly declared that whatever we have done for the least, we did for him. God shall reward us all things we do for the least of His children.

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                    

            - We must ascertain that all what we possess belong to God. To think otherwise is to steal His blessings.

            - We must love and help the lowly and those in need because they are God’s children and our brothers and sisters.

            - The humble are easily living their relationships with God and others. They shall be loved by God and others; they shall gather many good results both the present and the future life. They shall live at peace in this life and reach the kingdom of heaven in the future.

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