Friday of the tenth week in Ordinary Time2
Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Friday of the tenth week in Ordinary Time2

Friday of the tenth week in OT2

 

Readings: 1 Kgs 19:9a, 11-16; Mt 5:27-32

1/ Reading I: RSV 1 Kings 19:9 And there he came to a cave, and lodged there; (and behold, the word of the LORD came to him, "Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD." And behold, the LORD passed by), and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. 13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him, and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" 14 He said, "I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the people of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thy altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away." 15 And the LORD said to him, "Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazel to be king over Syria; 16 and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place.”

2/ Gospel: RSV Matthew 5:27 "You have heard that it was said, `You shall not commit adultery.' 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. 31 "It was also said, `Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' 32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”



I. THEME: It is the best for human beings to behave according to God’s way.

            No one knows a product better than the one who made it; for examples: the carpenter and his table, the engineer and his machine, the wine and the producer. Therefore, none knows creatures better than God, the Creator of all things. God creates everything for a purpose. When people use God’s creatures according to His purpose, they shall benefit people. In opposition, if people use them against God’s will, they shall harm people.

            The authors of today readings want to emphasize that people must follow God’s way, not the human way. In the first reading, the prophet Elijah was angry because his effort didn’t bring the results as he wants. The Lord God wants to appear to him in the light breeze to console and to also teach him a lesson that Elijah’s duty is to do what He wants according to His manner. In the Gospel, God condemned those who want to use their body to commit adultery. He also condemned those who didn’t keep the marriage promise which they professed before God and their spouse.

           

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: A prophet must do God’s will in all situations.

1.1/ Elijah is angry because things didn’t happen as he expected.

            (1) Textual difficulty: Verses 9b-11a can’t belong to the original text because: first, they repeat what is said in verses 13b-14; secondly, the Lord doesn’t pass by yet, how can He talk with Elijah in v.11a unless it is said by the Lord’s angel.

            (2) The reason of Elijah’s sadness: Elijah likes what is exciting. He liked the Lord God to do great miracles through him such as: to command the heaven to close so that no dew or rain shall fall down on the ground; to command fire from heaven to come down and to consume his offering before the king, 450 prophets of Baal, and many people, etc. God taught Elijah a lesson through the way He chose to appear to him. There are three great phenomena happened which Elijah thought God is in them but He wasn’t; they are: a great storm, a giant earthquake and a terrible volcano. Finally, a light breeze passed by which Elijah didn’t think God is in it; but he heard the Lord’s voice. The Lord asked him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" God’s question carries both rebuttal and consolation. He knows what are happening in the prophet’s mind. Elijah answered God, "I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the people of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thy altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away."

            God’s prophets are easy to fall into Elijah’s situation because they didn’t get the result which they set out to do. In Elijah’s case, he thought people shall come back to God after witnessed the spectacular event in which he asked God to end fire from heaven to consume his offering; but the king and the Israelites didn’t return to God. Moreover, Jezebel the queen asked King Ahab to persecute Elijah and to give him the same fate as the prophet did to her 450 prophets, and the king issued the decree. That is the reason why Elijah must run away from her and hide in a cave. Many times, God let His prophets see the result of their work only after their death.

1.2/ The Lord God commands Elijah to do His will: The Lord God didn’t pay attention to the prophet’s angry. He have him three new missions by saying to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazel to be king over Syria; and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place.

            God’s command for Elijah shows us His power and providence. He uses each one, whether a king or a prophet, in a period of time; and then chooses others to replace them. When God wants to replace, no one can oppose His will. God was preparing to replace the king of Syria, the king of Israel, and even the prophet Elijah.

2/ Gospel: Human body in the familial vocation

2.1/ Adultery in thought: According to the Church’s teaching, there are two main elements that constitute the sacrament of Matrimony: first, to love each other; secondly, to give birth for God’s children. Sex is never the main purpose of marriage, but only the result of love between the two spouses. When two people get marry, the main purpose is love. Since they love God, they want to express love for each other and for their children. They want to use their bodies to express God’s love for each other. Therefore, they must faithfully love each other all the days of their life, as the Law forbids: Do not commit adultery!

            Not only that, they must also avoid all occasions which shall damage their love with God and spouse. Jesus knows that human desire shall lead to act, so he wants people to control their desire as he said: “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

            All parts of a human body have important functions to extend God’s kingdom as said above; but if a part doesn’t fulfill its function, and also causes damage for the soul, people must do to it as Jesus teaches: “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

2.2/ Husband and wife must be loyal to each other until their death: Understanding the meaning of the sacrament of Matrimony and the purpose of human body as such, people must be loyal to each other all the days of their life, as Jesus teaches: “So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mt 19:6). Moses permitted divorce because of human hardness of heart. The Church permits divorce in many cases also due to human weakness.   

           

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                    

            - God has authority over all of His creation because His creates all things. Our duty is to learn His will and to act according to it.

            - God gives each of us a human body, not to enjoy it, but to work for our and others’ salvation.

            - We must use all parts of our human body for preaching the Good News to extend God’s kingdom. If we don’t, they shall become witnesses to condemn us.

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