Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Friday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time2

Friday of the twelfth week in the Ordinary Time2

Readings: 2 Kgs 25:1-12; Mt 8:1-4

leper

Reading 1: (2 Kgs 25:1-12)

In the tenth month of the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, on the tenth day of the month,
Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and his whole army
advanced against Jerusalem, encamped around it,and built siege walls on every side.
The siege of the city continued until the eleventh year of Zedekiah.
On the ninth day of the fourth month, when famine had gripped the city,
and the people had no more bread, the city walls were breached.
Then the king and all the soldiers left the city by night

through the gate between the two walls that was near the king’s garden.
Since the Chaldeans had the city surrounded, they went in the direction of the Arabah.
But the Chaldean army pursued the king and overtook him in the desert near Jericho,
abandoned by his whole army.

The king was therefore arrested and brought to Riblah 
to the king of Babylon, who pronounced sentence on him.
He had Zedekiah’s sons slain before his eyes.
Then he blinded Zedekiah, bound him with fetters,and had him brought to Babylon.
On the seventh day of the fifth month

(this was in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon),
Nebuzaradan, captain of the bodyguard,

came to Jerusalem as the representative of the king of Babylon.
He burned the house of the LORD,

the palace of the king, and all the houses of Jerusalem;
every large building was destroyed by fire.
Then the Chaldean troops who were with the captain of the guard
tore down the walls that surrounded Jerusalem.
Then Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard,
led into exile the last of the people remaining in the city,
and those who had deserted to the king of Babylon, and the last of the artisans.
But some of the country’s poor, Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard,

left behind as vinedressers and farmers.

Gospel: (Mt 8:1-4)

When Jesus came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him.
And then a leper approached, did him homage, and said,

“Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.”
He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said,
“I will do it.  Be made clean.”
His leprosy was cleansed immediately.
Then Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one,
but go show yourself to the priest,
and offer the gift that Moses prescribed;that will be proof for them.”

GIỚI THIỆU CHỦ ĐỀ: God always does what He promises.

            The history of the Old Testament is the demonstration of God’s fidelity and people’s infidelity. God promises to protect them from all dangers if they keep His commandments and walk in His way. When people are unfaithful, God doesn’t need to punish them, He will not protect them anymore. When God does that, the hands of the enemies will be heavy upon them and Israel shall be destroyed. But before God does that, He will send His prophets to warn and to call them to return to Him, the true God who can protect and bless them.

            The two readings today illustrate the two opposite attitudes of human beings before God. In the first reading, God kept sending His prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Amos, Micah… to warn the kings, the priests and the people of both Israel and Judah to return to Him in order to be protected; but they refused to do so. In addition, they chose to maltreat His prophets and relied on their own power and the help of the nearby countries. The results were: Israel was felt to Assyrian and Judah to Chaldean armies. Jerusalem’s Temple and city were completely destroyed by enemy as Jeremiah was foretold. In opposition, the leper was expressed his strong faith in Jesus through his request to him, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” Surprised by his request, Jesus healed him from leprosy.

KHAI TRIỂN BÀI ĐỌC

1/ First Reading: Jerusalem was completely destroyed.

 

            According to 2 Kgs 24:10-17 and 2 Chr 36:10, Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, had invaded Judah in 598 BC under Jehoiachin, Judah’s king. Jehoiachin and all of his staffs were on exile to Babylon. The king of Babylon made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, king in his place, and changed his name to Zedekiah. Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when began to reign; he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem.

            1.1/ King Zedekiah disobeyed God’s command: Although witnessed everything happened the first time, Zedekiah still not repented and believed in God, he chose to rebel against Babylon’s king by asking helps from the Egypt’s king. He sent his messenger to Egypt to ask for military help to oppose the Babylonians (Eze 17:11-21). When this news came to Babylon’s king, “In the tenth month of the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and his whole armyadvanced against Jerusalem, encamped around it, and built siege walls on every side. The siege of the city continued until the eleventh year of Zedekiah. On the ninth day of the fourth month,when famine had gripped the city, and the people had no more bread.”

            Although Jerusalem is a very strong city and built on Sion, a strong mountain; but after was surrounded about two years, all the sources of food were run out. When Zedekiah didn’t see help from the Egyptians, he decided to escape. He broke a big hole. This place of escape probably was Siloam tunnel which can provide water for Jerusalem city, near to Old City of David (Neh 3:15). From there, people can go down to Kidron valley and toward Jericho before go to the south of Arabah region.

            “Then the king and all the soldiers left the city by nightthrough the gate between the two wallsthat was near the king’s garden. Since the Chaldeans had the city surrounded, they went in the direction of the Arabah. But the Chaldean army pursued the king and overtook him in the desert near Jericho,abandoned by his whole army.
The king was therefore arrested and brought to Riblah
to the king of Babylon, who pronounced sentence on him.He had Zedekiah’s sons slain before his eyes.
Then he blinded Zedekiah, bound him with fetters,
and had him brought to Babylon.

            1.2/ Jerusalem was completely destroyed and most of its people were exiled to Babylon.

            After that, the king of Babylon decided to ravage Jerusalem. “On the seventh day of the fifth month, he sent Nebuzaradan, captain of the bodyguard, came to Jerusalem as the representativeof the king of Babylon.He burned the house of the LORD, the palace of the king, and all the houses of Jerusalem; every large building was destroyed by fire.Then the Chaldean troops who were with the captain of the guardtore down the walls that surrounded Jerusalem. Then Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, led into exile the last of the people remaining in the city, and those who had deserted to the king of Babylon, and the last of the artisans. But some of the country’s poor, Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, left behind as vinedressers and farmers.

 

            All these things happened on 587 BC, as the prophet Jeremiah had foretold. Jerusalem city and Temple were completely destroyed. Many people died because of famine and the two events. Most people were on exile to Babylon because the Judean kings chose to solve their problem without relying on God!      

2/ Gospel: “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.”

            2.1/ Jesus heals the leper: One of Jesus’ mission is to heal the sick in order to light up the faith in people. Jesus used to pay attention to faith in people before He performs miracles. If He doesn’t see a sign of faith, He will refuse to do any miracle, especially if he meets challenges from the scribes and the Pharisees. Let us see the expression of faith in the leper.

            (1) The leper’s faith in Jesus: When Jesus came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him.And then a leper approached, did him homage, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” Only in a short and simple verse, he expressed two important things:

            - He is ready to obey God’s will: When he said, “if you wish,” he also knows the opposite can happen is “Jesus doesn’t wish;” and he is ready to obey His will to endure his sickness. Many time people don’t know what shall happen in the future, so they don’t know how to ask correctly. For example, when people ask for money, fame or power; they don’t know that they can suffer greatly if God grants these for them. Therefore, the prudence is that people still can ask for things, but learn the wisdom from today’s leper by adding “if you wish.” Only God knows what is good for His children, He will grant the best for one who completely trust in His providence.

            - He believes Jesus can do everything when he said: “You can make me clean.” He had no doubt in God’s power. This is the first condition in order to be healed as Jesus used to require from the patience.

            (2) Jesus’ reaction: When Jesus saw the strong faith and prudence in the leper, he said to him: “I will do it.  Be made clean.” He touched him. The leper is immediately clean.

            This is a courageous action and expresses Jesus’ compassion because the Law prohibits any contact between a healthy one and a leper. In the ancient time, people believe leprosy is easily transmitted and can’t be healed. This is why a leper must be separated and lived outside the place for the healthy ones. When Jesus touched him, He became unclean and can’t come in the Temple; but with Jesus’ love and compassion for him, Jesus overcame all results from the Law. The prophet Isaiah expressed excellent about God’s compassion as follows: “The truth is that God Himself bears our infirmities, endures our sufferings” (Isa 53:4a).

            2.2/ Jesus’ command: Then Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one,but go show yourself to the priest,and offer the gift that Moses prescribed;that will be proof for them.”

            (1) Why does Jesus tell him “to tell no one?” Many people think Jesus should tell him to go out and to tell everyone what Jesus had done for him so that everyone will believe in Jesus. The reason is “the secret of the Messiah.” The Jews believe that when the Messiah comes, He will use His power and strength to punish all of their enemies and reign over them. Jesus’ plan is reversed: He is preparing for them to accept a Suffering Messiah who will use His sufferings and death to forgive people’s sins and bring salvation to all people.

            (2) He told the leper, “but go show yourself to the priest,and offer the gift that Moses prescribed;that will be proof for them.” In the ancient time, they didn’t have doctors as we have now; so, the priests have duty to examine lepers and pronounce if they are sick or recovered. The law prohibits a leper to enter the Temple due to its seriousness and can’t offer sacrifices. Once he is healed, he can offer sacrifices as prescribed by the law; and people know he is clean now.

ÁP DỤNG TRONG CUỘC SỐNG

            - We need to have a strong faith in God in all situations of our life because all can be done under his powerful hands.

            - Not all what we asked are according to His will; therefore, we need to open our mind and our heart to accept what happened and have courage to live according to God’s will.

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