Saturday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Saturday of the Seventh Week of Easter

Saturday of the Seventh Week of Easter

Readings: Acts 28:16-20, 30-31: Jn 21:20-25.

 

1/ First Reading: NAB Acts 28:16 When he entered Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with the soldier who was guarding him. 17 Three days later he called together the leaders of the Jews. When they had gathered he said to them, "My brothers, although I had done nothing against our people or our ancestral customs, I was handed over to the Romans as a prisoner from Jerusalem. 18 After trying my case the Romans wanted to release me, because they found nothing against me deserving the death penalty. 19 But when the Jews objected, I was obliged to appeal to Caesar, even though I had no accusation to make against my own nation. 20 This is the reason, then, I have requested to see you and to speak with you, for it is on account of the hope of Israel that I wear these chains." 30 He remained for two full years in his lodgings. He received all who came to him, 31 and with complete assurance and without hindrance he proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

2/ Gospel: NAB John 21:20 Peter turned and saw the disciple following whom Jesus loved, the one who had also reclined upon his chest during the supper and had said, "Master, who is the one who will betray you?" 21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, "Lord, what about him?" 22 Jesus said to him, "What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow me." 23 So the word spread among the brothers that that disciple would not die. But Jesus had not told him that he would not die, just "What if I want him to remain until I come? (What concern is it of yours?)" 24 It is this disciple who testifies to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true. 25 There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written.


Written by: Fr. Anthony Dinh M. Tien, O.P.

I. THEME: To preach the Good News and to witness for Christ in all situations.           

           The Easter season shall end after today. We shall celebrate the Pentecost Sunday tomorrow, and the 8th week of the Ordinary Time begins on Monday.

            Today readings are drawn from the last chapters of the two books: the Acts and the Fourth Gospel by which we has heard from the beginning of the Easter season until now. This is the proper opportunity for us to review these two books and to draw out the main theological points from them.

            The main purpose of the Acts is to report the forming of the Church through the preaching of the Good News and the witnessing for the Resurrected Christ, beginning at Jerusalem to the regions of Judea and Samaria, and then to the end of the earth (Acts 1:8). Because of this purpose, St. Luke ended the Acts when Paul came to Rome and began to preach the Good News as reported in today passage. Rome was considered the world’s headquarter; once the Good News reached there, it can spread out to all the earth. In the journey of preaching the Good News from Jerusalem to Rome, it is the faith in the Resurrected Christ that transformed the apostles and the disciples from the plain and timid to the courageous, eloquent and brave who dared to confront all powers and obstacles to witness for Christ. The faith in Jesus Christ also transformed Paul from an eager persecutor to an jealous preacher who untiredly preached the Good News to the Gentiles in his three missionary journeys which were full of difficulties, dangers and persecution.

            The purpose of the Fourth Gospel is to report the main and important events that related to Jesus’ life on earth to light up faith in the audience; and because of their faith, they shall inherit the salvation. The end of the Gospel in today passage clearly declared: “It is this disciple who testifies to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true.There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written.” Two main theological points which we repeatedly heard during the Easter by John are God’s love and the promise to send the Holy Spirit to believers. In order to preach the Good News and to witness for Christ, these two things can’t be lacking in preachers, and are given by God through Christ.

            The Church tried to paralelly arrange between what Jesus said to his disciples or the events that related to Jesus in the Gospel and what the disciples said or the events that related to them to emphasize a theme or the fulfillment of a promise.

 

II. ANALYSIS:

 

1/ Reading I: St. Paul witnessed for Christ at Rome, the center of the world.

           

1.1/ Paul gathered the Jews at Rome to let them know about his situation: When Paul came to Rome; he was permitted to live in his own place with a soldier to guard him. Three days later, he called together the leaders of the Jews. When they had gathered he said to them, "My brothers, although I had done nothing against our people or our ancestral customs, I was handed over to the Romans as a prisoner from Jerusalem.After trying my case the Romans wanted to release me, because they found nothing against me deserving the death penalty.”

            As in Christ’s case, though Pilate couldn’t find any crime in Jesus to deserve a death penalty; but the Jews in the Sandherin still wanted to ask Pilate to crucify him. Similarly in Paul’s case, Paul said to the Jews at Rome: “But when the Jews objected, I was obliged to appeal to Caesar, even though I had no accusation to make against my own nation.This is the reason, then, I have requested to see you and to speak with you, for it is on account of the hope of Israel that I wear these chains.”

           

1.2/ Paul continued to spread the Good News during his imprisonment: The Acts reported, “He remained for two full years in his lodgings. He received all who came to him,and with complete assurance and without hindrance he proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.”

            St. Paul showed us that eventhough he was imprisoned, but God’s words weren’t chained. He could preach the Gospel from the prison to the soldiers who took turn to guard him during two years. He preached it to the Jews who visited him. He wrote letters which are called the Imprisoned Letters to console and to encourage the faithful of the communities which he helped to form. In a word, Paul always found a way to preach the Good News in all situations.

 

2/ Gospel: You follow me!

           

2.1/ Peter would like to know the beloved disciple’s fate: The author reported the dialogue between Jesus and Peter about the beloved disciple’s fate as follows: “Peter turned and saw the disciple following whom Jesus loved, the one who had also reclined upon his chest during the supper and had said, "Master, who is the one who will betray you?"When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, "Lord, what about him?"Jesus said to him, "What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow me."”

            Jesus invited Peter to look forward and tried to complete the mission which Jesus gave to him, not to waste time to look around to compare or to be jealous with others. Not only Peter, but other disciples also wasted time for prediction as the author reported: “So the word spread among the brothers that that disciple would not die. But Jesus had not told him that he would not die, just "What if I want him to remain until I come? (What concern is it of yours?)”

           

2.2/ The beloved disciple witnessed for Christ: There are many hypotheses about who is “the beloved disciple.” Some say the author didn’t name him, so the audience can put their name in there because whoever loves Jesus he is called “the beloved disciple.” The majority think it is St. John, the Fourth Gospel’s author; this hypothesis found a reason in today passage when Peter clearly said that he is “the one who had also reclined upon his chest during the supper and had said, "Master, who is the one who will betray you?”

            Jesus’ purpose in selecting his apostles and disciples is to preach the Good News and to witness for him. There are many ways to witness for Christ, but John chose to witness for Christ by writing the Gospel. He confirmed his purpose in writing the Gospel, “It is this disciple who testifies to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true.There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written.”     


III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:          


            - To preach the Good News and to witness for Christ must be the two most important duties for Christians. As long as the Gospel doesn’t spread to the end of the earth, we don’t fulfill the duty which Jesus has given to us.

            - We must find all possible ways to preach the Good News in everywhere and at all situations, whether it is convenient or not. We are more fortunate than Paul because with modern technology, we can sit at home to preach the Godd News to all people through the internet.

            - Living in God’s love and following the Holy Spirit’s guidance are two necessary conditions for the preaching of the Good News to be lasting and to bear good fruits.

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