Wednesday in the thirty-third week of the Ordinary Time1
Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Wednesday in the thirty-third week of the Ordinary Time1

Wednesday of the 33 OT1

Readings: II Mac 7:1, 20-31; Lk 19:11-28.

 

1/ First Reading: RSV 2 Maccabees 7:1 It happened also that seven brothers and their mother were arrested and were being compelled by the king, under torture with whips and cords, to partake of unlawful swine's flesh. 20 The mother was especially admirable and worthy of honorable memory. Though she saw her seven sons perish within a single day, she bore it with good courage because of her hope in the Lord. 21 She encouraged each of them in the language of their fathers. Filled with a noble spirit, she fired her woman's reasoning with a man's courage, and said to them, 22 "I do not know how you came into being in my womb. It was not I who gave you life and breath, nor I who set in order the elements within each of you. 23 Therefore the Creator of the world, who shaped the beginning of man and devised the origin of all things, will in his mercy give life and breath back to you again, since you now forget yourselves for the sake of his laws." 24 Antiochus felt that he was being treated with contempt, and he was suspicious of her reproachful tone. The youngest brother being still alive, Antiochus not only appealed to him in words, but promised with oaths that he would make him rich and enviable if he would turn from the ways of his fathers, and that he would take him for his friend and entrust him with public affairs. 25 Since the young man would not listen to him at all, the king called the mother to him and urged her to advise the youth to save himself. 26 After much urging on his part, she undertook to persuade her son. 27 But, leaning close to him, she spoke in their native tongue as follows, deriding the cruel tyrant: "My son, have pity on me. I carried you nine months in my womb, and nursed you for three years, and have reared you and brought you up to this point in your life, and have taken care of you. 28 I beseech you, my child, to look at the heaven and the earth and see everything that is in them, and recognize that God did not make them out of things that existed. Thus also mankind comes into being. 29 Do not fear this butcher, but prove worthy of your brothers. Accept death, so that in God's mercy I may get you back again with your brothers." 30 While she was still speaking, the young man said, "What are you waiting for? I will not obey the king's command, but I obey the command of the law that was given to our fathers through Moses. 31 But you, who have contrived all sorts of evil against the Hebrews, will certainly not escape the hands of God.

 

2/ Gospel: RSV Luke 19:11 As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. 12 He said therefore, "A nobleman went into a far country to receive a kingdom and then return. 13 Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten pounds, and said to them, `Trade with these till I come.' 14 But his citizens hated him and sent an embassy after him, saying, `We do not want this man to reign over us.' 15 When he returned, having received the kingdom, he commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by trading. 16 The first came before him, saying, `Lord, your pound has made ten pounds more.' 17 And he said to him, `Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.' 18 And the second came, saying, `Lord, your pound has made five pounds.' 19 And he said to him, `And you are to be over five cities.' 20 Then another came, saying, `Lord, here is your pound, which I kept laid away in a napkin; 21 for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man; you take up what you did not lay down, and reap what you did not sow.' 22 He said to him, `I will condemn you out of your own mouth, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Why then did you not put my money into the bank, and at my coming I should have collected it with interest?' 24 And he said to those who stood by, `Take the pound from him, and give it to him who has the ten pounds.' 25 (And they said to him, `Lord, he has ten pounds!') 26 `I tell you, that to every one who has will more be given; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 27 But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them before me.'" 28 And when he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.



I. THEME: We must return to God both the principal and the interest.

 

            The end of the year is the time to do book keeping in corporations, companies, schools... to find out what are profit and strong points needed to develop further and what are loss and weak points needed to omit. This is also the time for each of us to examine our life with God, to find out if we build up or cause damage for the kingdom of God this year. What is good we need to develop it more, what is bad we must terminate it right away.

            Today readings show us many good and bad examples of ancient people when they used God’s gifts. In the first reading, a very courageous mother has advised her children and witnessed seven sons who accepted their death to witness for God; while the king Antiochus misused his power to kill God’s chidren. In the Gospel, a master after a long absence called his servants to settle their accounts with him.

 

II. ANALYSIS:

 

1/ Reading I: Accept death, so that in God's mercy I may get you back again with your brothers.

           

1.1/ A pious mother and seven heroic sons: There were seven brothers and their mother were arrested and were being compelled by the king, under torture with whips and cords, to partake of unlawful swine's flesh.

            (1) The mother’s advises: Blessings come from a pious mother. Children know how to revere God is the result of their mother’s instruction and advises. The mother of seven sons of Maccabees showed a strong faith and a firm hope in God when she advised her sons: “I do not know how you came into being in my womb. It was not I who gave you life and breath, nor I who set in order the elements within each of you.Therefore the Creator of the world, who shaped the beginning of man and devised the origin of all things, will in his mercy give life and breath back to you again, since you now forget yourselves for the sake of his laws.”

            (2) The young son’s brave spirit: After witnessed painful deaths of his brothers, heard all of the king’s promises and his mother’s wise advises, the young son said to the king and his soldiers: “What are you waiting for? I will not obey the king's command, but I obey the command of the law that was given to our fathers through Moses.But you, who have contrived all sorts of evil against the Hebrews, will certainly not escape the hands of God.”

           

1.2/ Antiochus’ plan of persecuting the Jews: In opposing to the faith of the mother and the seven Maccabees’ sons, the eccentric and absurd king Antiochus believed he had power over human life. He thought he could change people’s faith in God by threat, wicked persecution, reward, ranking and death; but he miserably failed because they chose to be loyal to God. They also warned him about what would be waiting for him in the next life.

 

2/ Gospel: The Day of Judgment

            This parable is similar as Matthew’s parable (Mt 25:14-30). The differences between them are in Luke, we know the reason why a nobleman went into a far country to receive a kingdom, and the people’s attitude: “But his citizens hated him and sent an embassy after him, saying, `We do not want this man to reign over us.'” This is a historical event which was reported in the Jewish history. After king Herode the Great died, he divided his kingdom into three territories for his three sons: Antipas, the Galilee region; Philip, the Jordan region, and Archelaus, the Judah region. This decision must be approved by the emperor Augustus of Rome. When Archelaus went to Rome to ask for the emperor’s approval, the Jews also sent a delegation of 50 people to Rome to voice their will: “We do not want this man to reign over us.” The result happened is the emperor Augustus approved Archelaus to be a king governed Judah. Jesus’ audience knew about this historical event.

            This parable wanted to emphasize three things:        

            (1) God believes in men: The nobleman didn’t set an amount of profit; he let his servants to determine that amount depending on their ability. He was not present to check on them or to give advises; he traveled far away so they were completely free to decide and to work.

            (2) Men must settle their accounts with God: Money is given to have a profit, not to be wasted. The more important point is for his servant to show their ability. When the nobleman returned, “having received the kingdom, he commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by trading.The first came before him, saying, `Lord, your pound has made ten pounds more.'And he said to him, `Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.'And the second came, saying, `Lord, your pound has made five pounds.'And he said to him, `And you are to be over five cities.'”

            “Then another came, saying, `Lord, here is your pound, which I kept laid away in a napkin;for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man; you take up what you did not lay down, and reap what you did not sow.'He said to him, `I will condemn you out of your own mouth, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow?Why then did you not put my money into the bank, and at my coming I should have collected it with interest?'And he said to those who stood by, `Take the pound from him, and give it to him who has the ten pounds.'(And they said to him, `Lord, he has ten pounds!')`I tell you, that to every one who has will more be given; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.’"  

            (3) Reward and punishment: The result showed the servants’ ability and the master’s evaluation. Whoever shows he lived worthy of God’s trust as the first and the second servant, God will trust and give him more responsibilities since He knows that one will fullfill his duty. But if someone didn’t lived worthy of God’s trust, and also found a reason to cover his laziness by blaming on Him as the third person, how can God trust him and give him more responsibitity? He will take back all that was given to him and give to those who know how to make a profit for Him. Experience is a proof for Jesus’ point: If people didn’t practice what they had learned, they will gradually lose them; but if they put them into practice, they will acquire more knowledge and have more expeience.

 

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                   

 

            - God creates human beings and all things in the cosmos. He gave all to men so that they can govern the cosmos with Him. Men are not owners, they are just stewards and must settle their accounts with God in the Day of Judgment.

            - We need to know the reason God sent each of us into this life that is for us to show our faith and love for Him through what we do for ourselves and others.

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