Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Saturday in the twenty-sixth week of the Ordinary Time1

Saturday of the 26 OT1

Spirit74 

Readings: Bar 4:5-12, 27-29; Lc 10:17-24

Reading 1: Fear not, my people! Remember, Israel,
You were sold to the nations not for your destruction;
It was because you angered God that you were handed over to your foes.
For you provoked your Maker with sacrifices to demons, to no-gods;
You forsook the Eternal God who nourished you, and you grieved Jerusalem who fostered you.
She indeed saw coming upon you the anger of God; and she said:
"Hear, you neighbors of Zion!
God has brought great mourning upon me,
For I have seen the captivity
that the Eternal God has brought
upon my sons and daughters.
With joy I fostered them;
but with mourning and lament I let them go.
Let no one gloat over me, a widow, bereft of many: For the sins of my children I am left desolate,
because they turned from the law of God.
Fear not, my children; call out to God!
He who brought this upon you will remember you.
As your hearts have been disposed to stray from God,
turn now ten times the more to seek him;
For he who has brought disaster upon you
will, in saving you, bring you back enduring joy."

 

Gospel: The seventy-two disciples returned rejoicing and said to Jesus, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name."
Jesus said, "I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky.
Behold, I have given you the power 'to tread upon serpents' and scorpions
and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you.
Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you,
but rejoice because your names are written in heaven."
At that very moment he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said,
"I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him."

Turning to the disciples in private he said, "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.
For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see,
but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it."



I. THEME: Read Scripture to fathom God’s mysteries.

            There are too many mysteries in the world, some mysteries require men to study and time to understand them; for examples, the earth rotates around the sun, Newton’s priciples on motion. Some mysteries men can only understand with God’s help through the Holy Spirit and revelation; such as: the mysteries the Holy Trinity, Jesus the Redeemer, Jesus’ two natures. When men did not know or cannot understand them, these mysteries still exist in the world. It is not true to say that these mysteries only exist when men knew or understood them.

            Today readings concentrate on the understanding of God’s mysteries. In the first reading, the prophet Baruch wanted the Israelites to understand the mystery of suffering. When God let the Babylon armies destroyed Judah kingdom and the Temple, and put people on exile, it is not because God did not love the Israelites, nor He had no power to save them; but because He wanted to give them an opportunity to reflect, to repent and to come back to God. If there were no suffering, the Israelites will not recognize God’s love, live far away fron Him, and be lost forever. In the Gospel, the disciples were glad when they had power to heal and to expulse devils. Jesus would like to draw their minds to the mystery of the Kingdom; they should be happy more because they understood the mystery of the Kingdom and their names were recorded in heaven.

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: Try to understand the mystery of suffering in life.

1.1/ Why were the Israelites on exile? It was the opportunity for the Israelites to recognize two things:

            (1) Their sins angered God: The prophet Baruch declared clearly the reason of their exile: “For you provoked your Maker with sacrifices to demons, to no-gods. You forsook the Eternal God who nourished you, and you grieved Jerusalem who fostered you.” God let sufferings happened, not because He did not love them; but to let them to recognize their sins against God. The prophet Baruch, like many other prophets, encouraged the Israelites not to be desperated and lost their faith in God; but to recognize their sins and to repent: “Fear not, my people! Remember, Israel, You were sold to the nations not for your destruction.”

            (2) God’s love for the Israelites: God punished people, not because He hated them, but because He loved them. Baruch liken God as a father and Jerusalem as a mother; and He had to suffer so much when He punished them: “You forsook the Eternal God who nourished you, and you grieved Jerusalem who fostered you. She indeed saw coming upon you the anger of God; and she said: "Hear, you neighbors of Zion! God has brought great mourning upon me, for I have seen the captivity that the Eternal God has brought upon my sons and daughters. With joy I fostered them; but with mourning and lament I let them go.”

 

1.2/ Make an effort to come back to God: In suffering, men can have two attitudes: they can be fallen to desperation or encouraged to repent. Baruch adviced Israelites to choose the second attitudes. Once they recognized their sins, they need to return to God’s love and the mother love of Jerusalem: “Fear not, my children; call out to God! He who brought this upon you will remember you. As your hearts have been disposed to stray from God, turn now ten times the more to seek him; for he who has brought disaster upon you will, in saving you, bring you back enduring joy.” Suffering is only needed for those who did not recognize God’s love, parental love, and others’ love, once they recognize them and live right relationship to all, suffering is not needed anymore.

2/ Gospel: “You have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.”

2.1/ The true happiness is your names have been recorded in heaven: The seventy-two disciples returned rejoicing and said to Jesus, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name."

            The disciples’ positive attitude can be understood; but Jesus warned them to be precautious of this attitude: “I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky. Behold, I have given you the power 'to tread upon serpents' and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” Jesus pointed out for them to see the main reason of joy which is their salvation. Be satisfied with success in human way is very dangerous since Satan can use this pride to destroy God’s works and to draw them away from Him.

2.2/ The mystery of the Kingdom can be only understood by the childlike: Luke described the reason of Jesus’ joy as follows: “At that very moment he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him."”

            (1) Childlike is the necessary condition to understand the mystery of the Kingdom: The noun “childlike” is used to indicate not only children, but also those who have not much experience of life. According to human standard, they think one must be wise to understand marvellous things happened in the world; but Jesus required his disciples must have a humble attitude, open-up, and follow Spirit’s guidance to understand mysteries. An arrogant soul, closed-up, and believed only in his intellect will never understand God’s mysteries.

            (2) Why the wise did not understood God’s mysteries: Many people can rely on what Jesus said here to verify Predestination, because if God hid or did not reveal, how can one understand. This is only a Jewish way of speaking because they believe God is the cause of everything. When Jesus proclaimed the Good News, he intended for everyone; but not everyone will understand it. The parable of the sower is an example: if his audience did not pay attention, prepared, and practiced, how can they understood and bore fruits for their life?

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                     

            - We must be humble to learn in order to understand God’s mysteries in the world. An arrogant attitude will prevent us in fathoming God’s mysteries.

            - To understand God’s mystery is only the beginning step, we must live the revealed mysteries in order to benefit for our life.

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