Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Friday of the 27 OT1

Friday of the 27 OT1

Reading 1: Jl 1:13-15; 2:1-2

Gird yourselves and weep, O priests!wail, O ministers of the altar!
Come, spend the night in sackcloth, O ministers of my God!
The house of your God is deprived of offering and libation.
Proclaim a fast, call an assembly; Gather the elders, all who dwell in the land, into the house of the LORD, your God, and cry to the LORD!
Alas, the day! for near is the day of the LORD, and it comes as ruin from the Almighty. Blow the trumpet in Zion, sound the alarm on my holy mountain!
Let all who dwell in the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming;
Yes, it is near, a day of darkness and of gloom, a day of clouds and somberness!
Like dawn spreading over the mountains, a people numerous and mighty!
Their like has not been from of old, nor will it be after them, even to the years of distant generations.

Gospel Lk 11:15-26

When Jesus had driven out a demon, some of the crowd said: "By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he drives out demons."Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven. But he knew their thoughts and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house. And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons. If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own people drive them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man fully armed guards his palace, his possessions are safe. But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him, he takes away the armor on which he relied and distributes the spoils. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. "When an unclean spirit goes out of someone, it roams through arid regions searching for rest but, finding none, it says, "I shall return to my home from which I came." But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there,and the last condition of that man is worse than the first."



I. THEME: Let always be prepared.

            When doing anything, one must be prepared in order to be successful; if not, failure will certainly be happened. The difficult of the work is, the more prepared we must do. Jesus Christ always warns his disciples to be awaken and prepared for his Second Coming.

            Today readings teach us how to always be prepared. In the first reading, the prophet Joel called the whole Israelites, from priest to people, to blow the trumpet and to declare solemnly a holy fast to prepare for the coming of the Messiah. In the Gospel, because of not preparing, some did not recognize Jesus’ power when he expeled a dumb evil from a man, they also mocked him, “by the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he drives out demons.” Jesus also warned his disciples they must always be prepared their souls as the place for God to dwell; if not, devils will come in a large number, and their souls will be worse than before.

 

II. ANALYSIS:

 

1/ Reading I: Alas, the day! for near is the day of the Lord.

           

1.1/ Let prepare for the Day of the Messiah: The Book of the prophet Joel might be written about 400-350 BC. This was the time the Jewish people, based on prophets’ oracles, believed the powerful Messiah would come to destoy their enemies and to govern them to eternity. To prepare for this Day, they must do two things:

            (1) To declare solemnly the beginning of a holy fast: The prophet Joel gave the God’s command: “Proclaim a fast,call an assembly; Gather the elders, all who dwell in the land, into the house of the Lord, your God, and cry to the Lord!” Every year, the Church also uses these words in the Ash Wednesday, to call Christians to repentance and to prepare themselves to welcome the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

            (2) The things they must do: “Gird yourselves and weep, O priests!wail, O ministers of the altar! Come, spend the night in sackcloth, O ministers of my God!” Fasting, doing penance, and praying are the three things we must do to prepare to welcome the Day of the Lord.

           

1.2/ The Day of the Lord is a horrible day: The Jewish tradition believed the Messiah will come in power; but before he governs people, he will purify and judge all people, the Israelites and all the Gentiles. This is the reason why the Israelites must prepare their souls. The prophet Joel warned them about this Day as follows: “Alas, the day! for near is the day of the LORD, and it comes as ruin from the Almighty... Let all who dwell in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming; Yes, it is near, a day of darkness and of gloom, a day of clouds and somberness!”

            The teribleness of this Day were described by Joel and other prophets as: the sun, the moon, and other luminous stars will no longer be shined; insects will destroy all crops and people have no food to eat; wars will happen everywhere on earth... At last, only the just ones will survive. They will live with the Messiah in peace and happiness for ever.

 

2/ Gospel: If it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons,then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.

           

2.1/ The human jealousy: When people saw Jesus has driven devil out of a man, the majority of people were startling; but some of them said: “By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he drives out demons.” This is an accusation of jealous people. When they could not do what other did, they try to find any reason, even unreasonable, to minimize other’s good work. Knowing their jealousy, Jesus pointed out their wrong accusation by two demonstrations.

            (1) To divide is to be destroyed: In order to survive, people need to stick with each other; if they divide between themselves, they will be destroyed. Jesus asked them: “if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand?” Satan must protect his members, because if Satan opposes his members, how can his kingdom be remained. Therefore, their accusation of Jesus’ depending of Beelzebul’s power to expel a devil is contradictory and wrong.

            (2) Many Jews can expel demons: The Jewish tradition, from the Solomon’s time, believes they can expel demons by burning plants, flowers, or animal organs. Smoke from these burning will expel demons out of possessed people. One of the examples was found in the Book of Tobit, when the archangel Raphael told Tobia to burn the fish’s heart and liver to drive out the demon out of Sarah on their wedding night (Tob 8:2-3). Jesus challenged them: “If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own people drive them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.”

           

2.2/ Jesus has power on devils: To show that he has power over devils, Jesus gave an example which everyone can understand: “When a strong man fully armed guards his palace, his possessions are safe. But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him, he takes away the armor on which he relied and distributes the spoils.” The dumb devil can be compared to a strong man fully armed. He had a stronger power than the young man so that he could control him; but when Jesus used God’s power to expel the dumb devil, the young man recovered. This showed Jesus has power over devils.

            Next, Jesus told his audience the need to always have God in their souls: “When an unclean spirit goes out of someone, it roams through arid regions searching for rest but, finding none, it says,"I shall return to my home from which I came. "But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order.Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there, and the last condition of that man is worse than the first.”

God and devils cannot live together, wherever God lives, there is no devils, and wherever devils live, there is no God. If a Christian always has Christ with him and lives according to Christ’s teachings, devils will have no opportunity to enter.

 

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                   

            - If we don’t prepare, danger will invade. We should have time to prepare before doing anything, especially to prepare our soul to welcome his Second Coming. When that Day suddenly comes, only those who prepared shall be saved.

            - When witnessing other’s good work, we should sincerely praise their talent or virtue. Don’t let our pride to blindfold us so that we despite or deny what they had done.

            - We can only choose one of the two: either we choose Christ to be our king or choose to live according to devil’s temptation and to become their slaves.

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