Monday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time (2)
Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Monday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time (2)

Monday of the 28 OT2

 

Readings: Gal 4:22-24, 26-27, 31-5:1; Lk 11:29-32.

1/ First Reading: NAB Galatians 4:22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the freeborn woman. 23 The son of the slave woman was born naturally, the son of the freeborn through a promise. 24 Now this is an allegory. These women represent two covenants. One was from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; this is Hagar. 26 But the Jerusalem above is freeborn, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written: "Rejoice, you barren one who bore no children; break forth and shout, you who were not in labor; for more numerous are the children of the deserted one than of her who has a husband." 31 Therefore, brothers, we are children not of the slave woman but of the freeborn woman. 5:1 For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.

2/ Gospel: NAB Luke 11:29 While still more people gathered in the crowd, he said to them, "This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. 30 Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31 At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. 32 At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.


 

I. THEME: God’s plan of salvation

            In God’s plan of salvation, He chooses the Israelites from the beginning and makes a contract with them on Mount Sinai. According to this covenant, if they carefully keep His commandments, He shall protect them and they shall be His people. But as their history showed, they didn’t honor the covenant and God let their enemies from the North invade their country and sent them to exiles. However, due to His love, God makes a new covenant with all people, both Jews and Gentiles. According to the new covenant, people shall be saved by their faith in Christ through the Holy Spirit’s grace, not by keeping of the law. However, many of the Jews are still stubborn, they continue to believe in the old covenant and want the Gentiles to do the same.

            Today readings concentrate on God’s plan of salvation. In the first reading, St. Paul used the Old Testament to show that the coming of the new covenant was foretold by the story of Hagar and Sarah. In the Gospel, Jesus warned the Jews not to despise the Gentiles; even though they didn’t have all the Jews’ priviledges, they knew how to use opportunities which God gave to them to study and to repent.

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: You are children born from God’s promise.

           

1.1/ There are two covenants in God’s plan of salvation: St. Paul used allegory to explain Scripture: Abraham has two sons: Isaac and Ismael. Ismael’s mother, Hagar, is a slave woman while Isaac’s mother, Sarah, is a free woman. The son of the slave woman was born according to nature, between a man (Abraham) and a woman (Hagar), while the son of the free woman was born by God’s promise with Abraham.

            St. Paul explained as follows: “These women represent two covenants. One was from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; this is Hagar. But the Jerusalem above is freeborn, and she is our mother. For it is written: "Rejoice, you barren one who bore no children; break forth and shout, you who were not in labor; for more numerous are the children of the deserted one than of her who has a husband."” One commentator explained: the first covenant at Sinai bearing children for slavery, that is Hagar. It indicates Sinai in today Egypt and is equivalent with today Jerusalem because this city and all her children are slaves. But the heavenly Jerusalem is free, she is our mother.

 

1.2/ As Isaac, you are children born by God’s promise: St. Paul continued, “But just as then the child of the flesh persecuted the child of the spirit, it is the same now. But what does the scripture say? "Drive out the slave woman and her son! For the son of the slave woman shall not share the inheritance with the son" of the freeborn.” (Gal 4:29-30).

            Therefore, the old was replaced by the new covenant; the slavery for the law must be substituted by the freedom to live according to the Holy Spirit, as St. Paul advised his Galatian faithful: “Therefore, brothers, we are children not of the slave woman but of the freeborn woman. For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.”

 

2/ Gospel: Christ’s wisdom is more than Solomon’s and has more weight than Jonah’s.

2.1/ Jonah is the sign for the Ninevites: Jesus said to them, "This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation.”

            According to the Book of Jonah, when God commanded him to preach repentance to the Ninevites the first time, he refused to do so; and instead he bought a ticket to Tarshish to avoid God. During his journey on a ship, God caused a fierce storm, and Jonah knew the reason for this was himself, so he asked the captain and sailors to throw him to the sea. God caused a whale to swallow him and he stayed in the fish’s belly for three days before the fish came to a coast and vomitted him out. Based on this story, Jesus wanted to say to his audience that he will only give this evil generation a big sign as Jonah’s sign; that is, he will stay in a tomb for three days, and resurrect gloriously on the third day.

            After Jonah came out of the fish’s belly, God commanded him to preach repentance to the Ninevites the second time, he reluctantly did so because he hated them for they are the Israelites’ enemies and did not want them to be saved. When he preached to them only once, the whole city, from the king to his people, repented and proclaimed a fast to pray to God. Because of this result, Jesus declared to his augience, “At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and their is something greater than Jonah here.” Jesus gave his generation so many opportunities to believe in him; but they refused to do so. Thus, the one who will accuse them on the Last Day is not him but the Ninevites, because God only gave them one opportunity and they believed in Him.

2.2/ Solomon is the sign for the queen of the south: According to the Book of Wisdom, when the queen of the south heard about the famous wisdom of king Solomon, she set out for a long journey and brought with her many gifts so that she could hear and witness some of his wisdom. Jesus himself is God’s wisdom by which Solomon’s wisdom came from, are standing before them and revealing to them God’s wisdom; but they ignore him.

            Because of this, Jesus said to his audience: “At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here.”

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                     

            - We must study to recognize all the priviledges which we are enjoying. Don’t be so obstinate as some Jews, though St Paul taught them that they can’t obtain salvation by keeping of the law, but only by believing in Christ; they were still stubborn in their belief and taught the Galatians to act the same.

            - We need to seize opportinities which God sends to our life. As the queen of the south went to king Solomon to learn about his wisdom, we must also come to good preachers to learn about God’s wisdom in Scripture. As the Ninevites heard Jonah’s preaching and repented, we must also hear the Church’s invitation through our pastors to examine our life and to reconcile to God.

            - If we don’t use God’s given opportunities, we shall have no reason to protect ourselves on the Day of Judgment, because many people shall accuse us that if they have opportunities like we had, they repented and returned to God.

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