Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Tuesday of the Holy Week

Reading 1: (Isa 49:1-6)

 

Hear me, O islands,
listen, O distant peoples.
The LORD called me from birth,
from my mother's womb he gave me my name.
He made of me a sharp-edged sword
and concealed me in the shadow of his arm.
He made me a polished arrow,
in his quiver he hid me.
You are my servant, he said to me,
Israel, through whom I show my glory.

Though I thought I had toiled in vain,
and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength,
Yet my reward is with the LORD,
my recompense is with my God.
For now the LORD has spoken
who formed me as his servant from the womb,
That Jacob may be brought back to him
and Israel gathered to him;
And I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD,
and my God is now my strength!
It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

Gospel: (Jn 13:21-33, 36-38)

 

Reclining at table with his disciples, Jesus was deeply troubled and testified,
"Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me."
The disciples looked at one another, at a loss as to whom he meant.
One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved,
was reclining at Jesus' side.
So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant.
He leaned back against Jesus' chest and said to him,
"Master, who is it?"
Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I hand the morsel after I have dipped it."
So he dipped the morsel and took it and handed it to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot.
After Judas took the morsel, Satan entered him.
So Jesus said to him, "What you are going to do, do quickly."
Now none of those reclining at table realized why he said this to him.
Some thought that since Judas kept the money bag, Jesus had told him, "Buy what we need for the feast,"
or to give something to the poor.
So Judas took the morsel and left at once. And it was night.

When he had left, Jesus said,
"Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him at once.
My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.
You will look for me, and as I told the Jews,
'Where I go you cannot come,' so now I say it to you."

Simon Peter said to him, "Master, where are you going?"
Jesus answered him,
"Where I am going, you cannot follow me now,
though you will follow later."
Peter said to him,
"Master, why can I not follow you now?
I will lay down my life for you."
Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for me?
Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow
before you deny me three times."


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

I. THEME: The Suffering Servant completely trust in God.

            People have a tendency to look for results right away. They are discourage and quit when they don’t see results of their efforts. In such moments, people are easy to blame themselves, others and God. If they don’t have a firm faith in God, they shall stop follow God’s way and live according to their own, worldly or evil way.

            Today readings give some exemplars, to teach people to always follow God’s way. In the first reading, the Suffering Servant often felt that his efforts to sacrifice for people were useless; but after praying and reflecting, he decided to go forward because he knew that God shall reward him the glorious result. In the Gospel, Jesus must feel discourage when he foresaw the betrayal of Judas, Peter and all apostles whom he spent time and effort to train them; but Jesus decided to go forward with his Father’s plan. He believed God shall give him the last victory; his sufferings are temporal, but glory shall be for ever.

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: The second song of the Suffering Servant

1.1/ The needs to remember what God has done and to announce His goodness to all people: The Suffering Servant announced what God has done for him: “Hear me, O coastlands, listen, O distant peoples. The Lord called me from birth, from my mother's womb he gave me my name.He made of me a sharp-edged sword and concealed me in the shadow of his arm. He made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me.”

            These verses remind people of God’s providence in their life. Their existence are from God; if God doesn’t think of them, they shall never be existed in this world. Moreover, all what people are possessing such as: talent, strength, knowledge are from God. Lastly, God protects people from all evils; if God doesn’t, people shall not be safe before devil’s power. The prophet Isaiah used the image of “a sharp-edged sword” and “a polished arrow” to show God’s providence for the Suffering Servant.

            There will be times when the Suffering Servant felt tired and discourage because he saw that his efforts were useless and cried out: “Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength.” The reason for this feeling was that he didn’t receive the results he was looking for, and sometimes the results were opposite with what he was looking for; for example, betrayal instead of love, hatred instead of gratitude.

1.2/ The need to completely trust in God’s power:

            (1) God is our strength: In such painful moments, the Suffering Servant reflected on his real strength, his given mission and final rewards: “Yet my reward is with the Lord, my recompense is with my God.For now the Lord has spoken who formed me as his servant from the womb, that Jacob may be brought back to him and Israel gathered to him; and I am made glorious in the sight of the Lord, and my God is now my strength!”

            (2) The Suffering Servant’s mission: His mission isn’t limitted only in Israel, but also extended to all people of the world. God said to him: “It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob and restore the survivors of Israel; I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”

2/ Gospel: Jesus made known Judas and Peter’s betrayals.

2.1/ Judah Iscariot’s betrayal: Jesus was deeply troubled when he must announce to his apostles Judas’ betrayal and his time on earth shall be ended. He could let everything come to him without his apostles’ knowing; but he chose to prepare their mind so that they know in advance what shall happen and believe in him when they happen.

            He revealed to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me."The disciples looked at one another, at a loss as to whom he meant.One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, was reclining at Jesus' side.So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant.He leaned back against Jesus' chest and said to him, "Master, who is it?"

            The reasons why Jesus revealed Judas’ betrayal are: first, not to cause confusion and suspection between the apostles; and secondly, to let Judas know that nothing could be hidden from him. Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I hand the morsel after I have dipped it." So he dipped the morsel and (took it and) handed it to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot.

            There might be four people who knew the betrayal: Jesus, Judas, Peter and John. The author of the Fourth Gospel had his way to express the relationship between Judas’ betrayal, the devil power at work in him, and the darkness. He reported: “After he took the morsel, Satan entered him.” When Judas realized that Jesus knew of his plan, he “took the morsel and left at once. And it was night.” When a person turns his back to the source of light which is Jesus, he turns his face to the darkness, and the power of Satan shall own his soul.

            When Judas left, Jesus knew that his death on the cross shall happen. When this happens, it is the time of the Father’s and Jesus’ glory. Jesus said to his apostles: "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.(If God is glorified in him,) God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him at once.” The glory which Jesus shall have must go through the way of the cross; without sufferings there shall be no glory. The Father’s glory is achieved because Jesus brings His plan of salvation to perfection. People’s sins are forgiven and the power of death and Satan shall have no effect on those who believe in Jesus. When the Father is glorified, the Son is also glorified. The Father gives His Son a title which every knees must kneel when they hear of his name, that is: “Jesus Christ is the Lord” (cf. Phi 2:10-11).

2.2/ Peter’s betrayal: Jesus knew well Peter’s temperament, he was very eager to do things but easy to forget, controlled by his heart more than his mind. Therefore, Jesus reminded him: “Will you lay down your life for me? Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times.” Jesus knew Peter’s past, present and future. This is the reason why Jesus said to Peter: "Where I am going, you cannot follow me now, though you will follow later."He wasn’t ready yet to follow Jesus now; but there shall be a day that he shall go through the same way with Jesus. At that time, Jesus’ word for him shall be fulfilled.

            There are a big difference between Judas’ and Peter’s betrayal: Judas’ betrayal is a calculated betrayal while Peter’s betrayal is from human weakness, accidental and unprepared. Judas’ betrayal has no place for contrite and repentance while Peter’s betrayal has place for repentance and return. When Peter realized he betrayed Jesus, “he went out and wept bitterly” (Mk 14:72).

           

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                     

            - There are times where we feel tired, discouraged and hopeless because our sacrifices and efforts don’t bear fruits, but also bring betrayal and division. In such moments, let remember Christ, God’s Suffering Servant and have courage to come forward.

            - We need to cultivate a firm faith in God. He shall help us to overcome all obstacles of our life and give us the last victory. 

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