Saturday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time (2)
Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Saturday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time (2)

Saturday of the 27 OT2

 

Readings: Gal 3:22-29; Lk 11:27-28.

1/ First Reading: NAB Galatians 3:22 But scripture confined all things under the power of sin, that through faith in Jesus Christ the promise might be given to those who believe. 23 Before faith came, we were held in custody under law, confined for the faith that was to be revealed. 24 Consequently, the law was our disciplinarian for Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a disciplinarian. 26 For through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendant, heirs according to the promise.

2/ Gospel: NAB Luke 11:27 While he was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, "Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed." 28 He replied, "Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it."


 

I. THEME: Everybody is equal before God.

            People enjoy priviledges, and when they have priviledges; some are so proud that they despise others. The Jews are so proud because God gives them the Ten Commandments and receives them as God’s selected people; many of them despise the Gentiles. Free people are so proud of their freedom and unjustly treate their slaves. Men in the Ancient Near East (ANE) are so proud of their leading role in family and many of them despise women. The high ranking officers treat members of his family with more respect than people outside their family. These attitudes happen everywhere; but can’t happen to the faithful because everybody is equal before God.

            Today readings give two examples which show this equality. In the first reading, St. Paul said that when one is baptized, he becomes a member of Christ’s body, and in Christ, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” In the Gospel, Jesus declared that everyone can become his mother, brother and sister through listening and keeping his teaching. This privilege isn’t preserved only for Mary and his apostles.

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: In Christ, there is no inequality.

           

1.1/ The role of the law in God’s plan of salvation: St. Paul said, “Before faith came, we were held in custody under law... the law was our disciplinarian for Christ.” In Greek, the disciplinarian “paidagôgos” used to be a trustful elder among the owner’s servants. He is given a duty to educate the owner’s child, especially about morality – how to help the child to learn all good qualities to become a good adult. His daily duty is to take the child to school and from school to his home. He doesn’t have a duty to teach the child because it is a teacher’s duty. St. Paul used the image of a disciplinarian to apply for the law: As a disciplinarian leads a child to school and gives him to his teacher, the law also leads people to Christ, our Master.

            The Jews are very proud of their law and refuse to let anyone lower the value of their law. To them, the law is the only way to lead people to God.

           

1.2/ The role of faith in God’s plan of salvation: According to St. Paul, when people came to Christ, the law is no longer needed. By faith, everyone is God’s children through Christ. There are two important points which Paul wanted to emphasize here.

            (1) The sacrament of Baptism: He said, “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” Baptism does not only purify sins but also incoporates the baptized into Christ’s sacred body. The symbol of this is the white garment which is given to the baptized in his baptism.

            (2) Everyone is equal before God in Christ: Also according to Paul, when one is baptized, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

            Paul courageously reversed the Jews’ morning prayer which found at Cairo Genizah, "(I give thank to you O God) who has created me a human and not beast, a man and not a woman, an Israelite and not a Gentile, circumcised and not uncircumcised, free and not slave." Or the Hellenistic prayer, “I give thank to you O God that I was born a human and not a beast; a man and not a woman; a Greek and not a Barbarian." All discrimination are wiped out when the faithful become one body in Christ. All are sinners and debtors before God. All need God’s loving forgiveness; and when they receive His forgiveness, all are equal before God.

1.3/ Everybody has an opportunity to become Abraham’s descendants: According to Paul, “And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendant, heirs according to the promise.” Therefore, faith in Christ makes one to become Abraham’s descendants, not by carefully keeping of the law. All can enjoy the promise which God made to Abraham from the beginning, “All the communities of the earth shall find blessing in you” (Gen 12:3).

2/ Gospel: Blessed are those who listen and keep God’s word.

2.1/ Blessings come from mother: A woman from the crowd called out and said to him,
"Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed." The Vietnamese also thought as this woman when they said, “Blessings come from mother.” A child becomes wise, pious, talented, is the result of his mother’s effort. Not only this woman in this periscope recognized the blessings of Jesus’ mother, the archangels Gabriel also greeted the Virgin Mary at the Annuntiation, “"Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” (Lk 1:28). And Elisabeth, Mary’s cousin also declared at the Visitation, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” (Lk 1:42).

2.2/ Jesus’ announcement: “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” When hearing this saying at first, one can think it is an insult to Mary; because Jesus treated his mother as one of his audience. Mary’s life is truly a life which Simeon had prophesized, “and a sword will pierce through your own soul also, that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed” (Lk 2:35). Mary also suffered with her son in all events of Jesus’ life. She never questioned God’s plan, but always listened and kept everything in her heart (Lk 2:52).

            Like when Jesus declared: “My mother, brothers and sisters are those who listened and practiced God’s word;” Jesus did not insult his mother, because Mary is not only Jesus’ mother in relationship, she also Jesus’ mother in Jesus’ standard: to listen and to practice God’s word in all her life.

            All have opportunity to become Jesus’ mothers, brothers and sisters. This is our good new because Jesus gave us an equal way to become members of his family. To deny to listen and to practice God’s word is the only way not to become Jesus’ mothers, brothers and sisters.

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                     

            - All who believe in Christ and are baptized become one in his body; therefore, we must eliminate all forms of discrimination which are based on class, nationality, sexuality, etc. All are God’s children and brothers and sisters to each other.

            - The standards to enjoy God’s priviledges aren’t like human standards, He expands to all people, not confines only to one family, some closed relatives, or a chosen nation.

            - The only condition to become Christ’s relatives is to listen and to obey his teaching. No one is exempted from this condition, even the Blessed Mary, his mother.

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