Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Saturday, 25 OT

 

Reading 1

I, Zechariah, raised my eyes and looked:
there was a man with a measuring line in his hand.
I asked, “Where are you going?”
He answered, “To measure Jerusalem,
to see how great is its width and how great its length.”
Then the angel who spoke with me advanced,
and another angel came out to meet him and said to him,
“Run, tell this to that young man:
People will live in Jerusalem as though in open country,
because of the multitude of men and beasts in her midst.
But I will be for her an encircling wall of fire, says the LORD,
and I will be the glory in her midst.”
Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion!
See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the LORD.
Many nations shall join themselves to the LORD on that day,
and they shall be his people and he will dwell among you.
 

Gospel

While they were all amazed at his every deed,
Jesus said to his disciples,
“Pay attention to what I am telling you.
The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.”
But they did not understand this saying;
its meaning was hidden from them
so that they should not understand it,
and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.


 

September 26, 2009

Saturday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time

 

SUBJECT INTRODUCTION

 

OVERCOME HARDSHIP TO GAIN GLORY

 

      If we look back on life after 30th  February 1975, we will know how to live on hope: tears, desolate houses, imprisoment with certain return, crossing the sea with death at sea, suffering days in refugee camps not knowing when to settle, when being settled to start a new life with empty hands. We suffered all in the hope that our life would be better after overcoming these sufferings. Now, when reviewing, we realize that: In fact, success in life just only comes to those who patiently overcome all hardship.

 

      Today’s Readings told people to confront with hardship courageously and try to find ways to overcome. In Reading I, the children of Israel had no courage to rebuild the temple right after repatriating, because they had to cope with too much hardship of life to start from the beginning. The prophet Zechariah encouraged them in overcoming hardship to rebuild the temple so that God could be among them and then, hope for the splendour of Jerusalem in the future. In Gospel, disciples were afraid to ask Jesus about the prediction of the Passion, because they were afraid to face hardhip. Jesus wanted to drive them into the glorious resurrection in the future.

 

READING DEVELOPMENT

 

1/ Reading I: The prophet Zechariah’s vision of Jerusalem

 

      The history behind The prophet Zechariah’s vision was the period after the exile, temple and country rebuilding. Like the prophet Haggai, Zechariah realized the importance of rebuilding the temple at Jerusalem. The children of Israel could not live without temple, because that was God’s presence among them as His promise  since the Exodus time. God’s promise that on which people would be protected would be carried out until Messiah’s appearance.

 

      1.1/ Jerusalem would become a big city: About 587 BC, Jerusalem was levelled by enemies: from the surrounding wall to the main Temple. When children of Israel were repatriated by Persian kings to rebuild the temple, they felt disappointed because the building work took much time and sacrifice; while their lives were not settled yet. The aims of Today’s The prophet Zechariah’s vision is to provide children of Israel with hope and energy for temple building: Jerusalem would become a big city.

 

      Zechariah reported: “I, Zechariah, raised my eyes and looked: there was a man with a measuring line in his hand. I asked, “Where are you going?” He answered, “To measure  Jerusalem, to see how great is its width and how great its length.” Then the angel who spoke with me advanced, and another angel came out to meet him and said to him, “Run, tell this to that young man: People will live in Jerusalem as though in open country, because of the multitude of men and beasts in her midst.

      1.2/ God dwelt among them to protect Jerusalem: City wall was very important to Jerusalem and temple, because it could prevent the invasion of surrounding enemy. There existed safety with city wall; when city wall collapsed, the city and temple were in the same boat. The Jews not only rebuilt the temple, but also built the whole surrounding city wall to provide security for temple and human life in the city.

 

      The prophet Zechariah recalled God’s protection in Exodus event through columns of cloud and fire. He told people God’s will: “But I will be for her an encircling wall of fire, says the LORD, and I will be the glory in her midst.”

 

      1.3/  Peoples all over the world flocked to Jerusalem: until the period after exile, Jerusalem was still completely considered to belong to the Jews. Many prophecies of prophets before and after exile talked about the expansion of Jerusalem into the gentiles; not limited within the Jews. The prophet Zechariah’s prophecy was a typical example when he said: “Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion! See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the LORD.
Many nations shall join themselves to the LORD on that day, and they shall be his people and he will dwell among you. Jerusalem was the symbol for God’s presence among people. The gentiles flocked into Jerusalem because they also believed in God of the Jews.

 

2/Gospel: Everyone was amazed at God’s high power.

 

      Today’s Luke’s report is the second prediction about Jesus’s Passion to disciples after He transfigured on the mountain and healed a possessed boy that disciples failed to do.

 

      2.1/ Jesus had to be suffered: After driving out all evil spirits from a boy, Jesus said to his disciples, “Pay attention to what I am telling you. The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.” Jesus showed disciples his glory and power so that they had energy to ovecome hardship in oncoming Passion. Jesus worried about them, because He knew that if there was no supporting hope, they would easily gave up when watching God’s suffering in the Passion and his death on the Cross.

 

      2.2/ It would not be easy for people to accept suffering way.

 

      (1) Disciples did not understand what Jesus said: “But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was hidden from them so that they should not understand it”. Like most of us, disciples did not understand: Why did glorious God who had power over all evil spirits and diseases, not choose the way of power and strength that they expected; but choose the suffering way to save people!

 

      (2) Disciples were afraid to ask him about that: They dared not ask because they were afraid of facing the truth that they did not want to accept. They wanted Jesus to follow the wisdom and their saving way, but they did not want to act on God’s. This was proved by Peter’s attitude when he brought Jesus to a place with his advice: “No such thing shall ever happen to you.” (Mt 16:22).

 

      APPLYING IN LIFE

 

-          Jesus Christ wanted us to refuse our own will and take the suffering way to become his disciples deservedly.

-          We have to patiently overcome suffering at present so that we could inherit the glory granted later.

-          Present suffering to bear  could not be compared with glory granted by Jesus Christ. Therefore, ask God for strength to overcome all hardship in life.

 

 

OTHER READINGS
 

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