Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Tuesday in the Twenty-fifth Week of the Ordinary Time1

Tuesday of the 25 OT1

 

Readings: Ezr 6:7-8, 12, 14-20; Lk 8:19-21.

Reading 1: (Ezr 6:7-8, 12b, 14-20)

 

King Darius issued an order to the officials of West-of-Euphrates: "Let the governor and the elders of the Jews continue the work on that house of God;
they are to rebuild it on its former site.
I also issue this decree concerning your dealing with these elders of the Jews in the rebuilding of that house of God: From the royal revenue, the taxes of West-of-Euphrates,
let these men be repaid for their expenses, in full and without delay.
I, Darius, have issued this decree; let it be carefully executed."

The elders of the Jews continued to make progress in the building, supported by the message of the prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, son of Iddo.
They finished the building according to the command of the God of Israel
and the decrees of Cyrus and Darius and of Artaxerxes, king of Persia.
They completed this house on the third day of the month Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.
The children of Israel'priests, Levites,
and the other returned exiles celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy.
For the dedication of this house of God, they offered one hundred bulls, two hundred rams, and four hundred lambs, together with twelve he-goats as a sin-offering for all Israel,
in keeping with the number of the tribes of Israel.
Finally, they set up the priests in their classes and the Levites in their divisions for the service of God in Jerusalem, as is prescribed in the book of Moses.
The exiles kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month.
The Levites, every one of whom had purified himself for the occasion,
sacrificed the Passover for the rest of the exiles, for their brethren the priests, and for themselves.

 

Gospel: (Lk 8:19-21)

 

The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him
but were unable to join him because of the crowd.
He was told, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside
and they wish to see you."
He said to them in reply, "My mother and my brothers
are those who hear the word of God and act on it."


 

I. THEME: Doing God’s will 

            Many believe that everything happen in the earth are accident, there is not any relationship between them; but history and faith demonstrated that there is no accident, all that happen are in God’s providence. Even knowing or not knowing, all human beings do the will of God. If human beings realize this, they will see the meaning of life and are joyful when doing God’s will; if not, they will be anger, uneasy, and resisted.

            Today readings want to demonstrate all people, Jews and Gentiles, are doing God’s will. In the first reading, the Persian kings, started with king Cyrus, obeyed God’s will to release the Israelites so that they could come back to their country and rebuid the Temple. The reason for that is God helped them to win over the Babylon kingdom. The Jewish elders obeyed God and came back to rebuild the Temple, to re-establish the priests and the Levites, and to prepare to celebrate the first Passover after the Exile in 515 BC. All these things happen are to fulfilled what has been fortold by the prophets before the Exile. In the Gospel, Jesus declares to open up God’s family to all who listen and to do God’s will; they are his mothers, brothers and sisters.     

II. ANALYSES:

1/ Reading I: The Persian kings did God’s will.

1.1/ Cyrus and Darius, the Persian kings, did God’s will: They are Gentiles, never know God before, but were ready to do His will because He helped them to win over the Babylon armies. This shows God’s providence in controlling everything that happen in the world. According to prophets’ writings, God used Babylon as the stick to punish the Israelites, then He used Persia as the stick to strike the Babylonians, then He used Persian kings to release the Israelites. All these things happened are to achieve God’s will. After winning the battle against Babylon, the Persian king Cyrus did what God has commanded him. The one who succeeded him, Darius, also continued to do that. Darius gave a decree with three articles in it.

            (1) To rebuid the Temple: This happened from 520-515 BC. Darius commanded as follows: “Let the governor and the elders of the Jews continue the work on that house of God;
they are to rebuild it on its former site.”

            (2) To pay for the cost of rebuilding: King Darius did not only give permission, he also provided the mean to rebuild the Temple by the tax money, collected from the citizens of Babylon. King Darius commanded: “From the royal revenue, the taxes of West-of-Euphrates,
let these men be repaid for their expenses, in full and without delay.”

            (3) The punishment for whoever dares to destroy the Temple: In order to protect the rebuilt Temple from all surrounding kings and leaders, Darius commanded: “Also I make a decree that if any one alters this edict, a beam shall be pulled out of his house, and he shall be impaled upon it, and his house shall be made a dunghill” (Ezra 6:11)

 

1.2/ The Israelite elders did God’s will.

            (1) The Temple was completed in 515 BC: “The elders of the Jews continued to make progress in the building, supported by the message of the prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, son of Iddo. They finished the building according to the command of the God of Israel and the decrees of Cyrus and Darius and of Artaxerxes, king of Persia. They completed this house on the third day of the month Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.” The children of Israel from everywhere: elders, priests, Levites came back to Jerusalem, and prepared to dedicate the Temple with joy.
            (2) Re-establishing all ceremonies in the Temple: It is about 70 years from the time of the Temple was destroyed; the elders now must re-establish all ceremonies, priests, and Levites. This is very important to make an easy connection for the next generation because they were not familiar with them.

            They celebrated the dedication of the Temple on the Passover Feast: “The exiles kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. The Levites, every one of whom had purified himself for the occasion, sacrificed the Passover for the rest of the exiles, for their brethren the priests, and for themselves.”

2/ Gospel: "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it."

2.1/ Who is my mother and my brothers? Luke reports in today Gospel: “The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him but were unable to join him because of the crowd. He was told, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you." He said to them in reply, "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it."

            One can easily make a conclusion when hearing Jesus’ reply that Jesus did not have a special love for his mother and brothers. This is not correct since Jesus’ intention is to widen his family to all who do God’s will, not only those who belonged to the circle of his family. The only important requirement to become a member of God’s household is “to listen to the word of God and act on it.”

           

2.2/ The Blessed Mother and Jesus’ brothers: Mary is Jesus’ mother, not only because she gave birth to Jesus, but also the mother according to Jesus’ requirement, that is “to listen to the word of God and act on it.” Mary heard and obeyed God’s word in all her life: in taking the vow of virginity; in saying “Yes” to Gabriel’s announcement in the Annunciation event, in Cana, in the loosing of Jesus in the Temple, and specially, in standing courageously at the foot of the cross with Jesus, her son. Mary also obeyed Jesus to become the mother of all human beings. In a word, she set a good example to those who “listen to the word of God and act on it.”

            Many people rely on the expression “the mother of Jesus and his brothers” to show that Mary cannot be a virgin because she had many other sons who are Jesus’ brothers. This is not correct, since in Greek there is only a noun “adelphos” to indicate brother, whether blood brother, or cousin, or sworn friend, or any those who has the same goal as in armies, religious orders, or any association. Therefore, one cannot rely on the noun “adelphos” to make such a conclusion. The brothers mentioned here could be Jesus’ cousins, James and Joseph, Salome’s sons, or the apostles. They are brothers, not only of the relationship, but also of having the same Jesus’ standard which is “to listen to the word of God and act on it.” They sacrificed all to follow Jesus to do God’s will by proclaining the Good News.

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                    

            - We must believe in God’s providence for the world and our life. Such a faith will help us to accept all that happen in the world.

            - Our duty is to find out and to do God’s will. The most obvious one is to work for our salvation and the salvation of all of which Jesus has bestowed on all mankind.

Save

Save

Donation (credit card)

Thanks for your supporting.

Amount: