Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Sunday, 26 OT

 

Reading 1

The LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to Moses.
Taking some of the spirit that was on Moses,
the LORD bestowed it on the seventy elders;
and as the spirit came to rest on them, they prophesied.

Now two men, one named Eldad and the other Medad,
were not in the gathering but had been left in the camp.
They too had been on the list, but had not gone out to the tent;
yet the spirit came to rest on them also,
and they prophesied in the camp.
So, when a young man quickly told Moses,
"Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp, "
Joshua, son of Nun, who from his youth had been Moses’aide, said,
"Moses, my lord, stop them."
But Moses answered him,
"Are you jealous for my sake?
Would that all the people of the LORD were prophets!
Would that the LORD might bestow his spirit on them all!"

 Reading 2

Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries.
Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten,
your gold and silver have corroded,
and that corrosion will be a testimony against you;
it will devour your flesh like a fire.
You have stored up treasure for the last days.
Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers
who harvested your fields are crying aloud;
and the cries of the harvesters
have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.
You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure;
you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter.
You have condemned;
you have murdered the righteous one;
he offers you no resistance.

 Gospel

At that time, John said to Jesus,
"Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name,
and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us."
Jesus replied, "Do not prevent him.
There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name
who can at the same time speak ill of me.
For whoever is not against us is for us.
Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink
because you belong to Christ,
amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.
"Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,
it would be better for him if a great millstone
were put around his neck
and he were thrown into the sea.
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.
It is better for you to enter into life maimed
than with two hands to go into Gehenna,
into the unquenchable fire.
And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off.
It is better for you to enter into life crippled
than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna.
And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.
Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye
than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna,
where 'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'"

 

 


 

September 27, 2009

Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

ELIMINATE ALL ENVY AND RAPACITY

 

      Factional characteristic, eny and rapacity make people easily forget aims and eliminate those who do not have the same viewpoint or do not belong to one’s group. The first-rate thing the faithful have to remember is that how Good News is widespread everywhere; the way how to perform this depends on one’s own grace granted. It necessary to avoid attitude to which people belonging to one’s group or the way of one’s own is important. Do not envy when others are as good as or better than one. Because one person can not do all everything, and does not has enough strength to suffer all; therefore, God needs many enthusiastic workers to work for his vineyard.

 

      Today’s reading would like to teach people to eliminate factionalism, eny and rapacity. In Reading I, Moses wished that spirit’s grace would be bestowed on all children of Israel, so that they did not complain, reproach God and even him. In Reading II, St. James’s viewpoint is that all secular wealth in the world was given to everyone by God; no one has right to plunder and hoard to such an extent that others suffer a loss and are in need. In Gospel, when John said to Jesus that he forbade a man to exorcize in the name of Jesus because he did not belong to Jesus’s disciple group. He told him in reply: “Do not forbid him for “whoever is not against us is for us.”

 

READING DEVELOPMENT

 

1/ Reading I: God’s spirit works  everywhere and in everyone.

 

      1.1/ The spirit was bestowed on seventy elders, Eldad và Medad.

      (1) Seventy elders: The total number of people when getting out of Egypt was almost million. They kept on demanding, complaining and reproaching Moses for being short of food, water, meat, vegetable . . . Moses was so tired when hearing people’s complaint that he confided to God that he could not shoulder burden from people. God understood Moses’s suffering and burden, so He told him to choose seventy elders (those whose age is older among others) to share his burden (Num 11:17). Today’s report related that : “The LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to Moses. Taking some of the spirit that was on Moses, the LORD bestowed it on the seventy elders.”

 

      (2) Endad và Medad: The spirit worked not only on seventy elders; but there were two men in the camp at that time, whose name is Eldad and Medad. Both were recorded in the elders list but they did not come to Tent. Spirit was on them and made them begin prophesying.

 

      1.2/ Joshua’s envy: On seeing all these happened, a young man informed that: “"Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp!"

 

      (1) Joshua’s reaction: Joshua, son of Nun, who from his youth had been Moses’aide, said, "Moses, my lord, stop them."

 

      (2) Moses’s reaction: Moses understood that spirit is like God, worked and control everyone in everywhere, not only on those were chosen by Moses; so he told Joshua in reply: “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the people of the LORD were prophets!
Would that the LORD might bestow his spirit on them all!”

 

      Naturally we are inclined to limit God’s operation or spirit’s in some people or only in the Church; but God’s activities, like spirit’s, cover the whole universe. Many times, Gospel proved that God’s power operated in gentile Kings such as Egypt, Assyria, Babylon and Persia . . . . .  made them execute his will, and spirit operated in the gentiles who were not baptized yet, such as Cornelius, a Roman officer (Act 10).

 

2/ Reading II: Wealth bestowed by God in the world, must be shared by everyone.

 

      2.1/ Greedy people must expiate their sins: A bad human inclination is insatiable greed.  Greedy people want to collect wealth for themselves by any means without need to know that how they cause sufferings and damage to others is. St. James witnessed the rich exploited the poor in his community, so he proclaimed them: “Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries. Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten,
your gold and silver have corroded, and that corrosion will be a testimony against you;
it will devour your flesh like a fire. You have stored up treasure for the last days.”

 

      2.2/ Sins caused by people’s greed: greedy people not only commit plunder, but other sins are to follow.

 

      + Error of justice: “Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud; and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.”

 

      + Extravagant spending on unrighteous affairs: When the poor have nothing to eat, the rich extravagantly spend money in casinos and debauchery. St. James reprimanded their actions: “You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure; you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter.

     

+ Killing the righteous: To satisfy the greed, wicked people do away with those who prevent, criticize or denounce their way of living: “You have condemned; you have murdered the righteous one; he offers you no resistance.”

 

3/ Gospel: For whoever is not against us is for us: One day, John said to Jesus,
"Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us." The reason John said this because he wanted exorcism as a prerogative right for Jesus’s disciples only, if anyone could do this, there would be nothing special for them.

 

      (1) It needs to eliminate factionalism, authoritarianism: “Jesus replied, "Do not prevent him. There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us.” The principle Jesus presented is that a person can not contradict oneself: yes or no, not both are chosen at the same time. In order to exorcise, a person must have a firm belief in God, exorcize in the name of Jesus. If a person does not have faith, not in the name of God, they could never exorcize successfully. It takes a long time to obtain or lose faith, not in a short period. Therefore, when they exorcized, that meant they had faith in God, why it needed to prevent them.

 

      Moreover, Jesus’s aim when choosing disciples is to train them to proclaim Gospel, not laid emphasis on titles or the rights of individual or group. He granted them ability to exorcize to keep faith with them, not privilege to be protected. Factionalism, some time, made people not pay attention to aim, but take notice of fame, privilege and easy to get rid of others.

 

      (2) People have freedom to accept the truth: We need to be generous to accept human freedom. When proclaiming Gosgel, Jesus only tell the truth to persuade people to believe in Him, with miracles included; but if they were stiff-necked, Jesus did not make them believe in Him. Similarly, We only present the truth, or analize the advantage or disadvantage of not living up to the truth, then let others decide to follow or not. We can not make others act on our will.

 

      (3) On the way to search for the truth, there are so many ways to lead people to the truth and raise one’s faith in God; not only one way. Let God operate in others and it took them some time to realize the truth. It needs to avoid arbitrary attitude: our way is the one to make people realize the truth or to be saved.

 

      3.2/ Charity and good examples are two effective ways to proclaim Gospel.

 

      (1) Share food and clothes with everyone: “Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.” Jesus’s religion is the charity one. God’s disciple can not love God without loving others. Standard Jesus set to judge people is charity (see also Mt 25 – The judgement of the Nations). Those whoever do something good for other, do for God, they would inherit eternal life.

 

      (2) Set a good example to others: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” The same viewpoint as above: who do not do something good for others, neither for God. The corollary is that they can not be happy with Him. If not having set good example to others, they prevented others from coming to God with bad examples, certainly they must be far away from God.

 

      3.3/ Make a break with sins: There are some problems of context in five next sentences: Verse 44 and 46 are considered, by exegetes (or exegetists),  the same as verse 48: “where worm does not die and fire is not quenchable.” Five verses were arranged as follows: “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off. It is better for you to enter into life crippled than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, where 'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’”. There are at least two ways to take the meaning of this paragraph:

 

      (1) According to fundamentalists, by them the literal meaning was taken, Jesus wanted people to amputate some parts of the body, if they wanted to enter the kindom of God.

 

      (2) People have to recognize the danger of sins. The sins provide people with the risk of falling into Hell and not achieving eternal life.

 

APPLYING IN LIFE

      - The Spirit operates everywhere and in everyone. We never limit spirit’s operation in oneself, in a community, on in the Church only.

     

      - The important target in life is to care about how God’s kingdom comes, and God’s will should be done on Earth as in Heaven. So as to perform as such, we need the co-operation of everyone.

 

- Wealth in the universe belongs to God who grants everyone. We do not crave to collect to store up for oneself while others who are most in need.

 

      - We are duty bound to set good examples to everyone with virtuous life. We must also try to avoid all sins and not set bad examples that could shake others’ faith.

 

 

 

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