Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Saturday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time (2)

Saturday of the 18 OT2

 

Readings: Hab 1:12-2:4; Mt 17:14-20

1/ First Reading: NAB Habakkuk 1:12 Are you not from eternity, O LORD, my holy God, immortal? O LORD you have marked him for judgment, O Rock, you have readied him for punishment! 13 Too pure are your eyes to look upon evil, and the sight of misery you cannot endure. Why, then, do you gaze on the faithless in silence while the wicked man devours one more just than himself? 14 You have made man like the fish of the sea, like creeping things without a ruler. 15 He brings them all up with his hook, he hauls them away with his net, He gathers them in his seine; and so he rejoices and exults. 16 Therefore he sacrifices to his net, and burns incense to his seine; for thanks to them his portion is generous, and his repast sumptuous. 17 Shall he, then, keep on brandishing his sword to slay peoples without mercy? 2:1 I will stand at my guard post, and station myself upon the rampart, and keep watch to see what he will say to me, and what answer he will give to my complaint. 2 Then the LORD answered me and said: Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets, so that one can read it readily. 3 For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint; if it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late. 4 The rash man has no integrity; but the just man, because of his faith, shall live.

2/ Gospel: NAB Matthew 17:14 When they came to the crowd a man approached, knelt down before him, 15 and said, "Lord, have pity on my son, for he is a lunatic and suffers severely; often he falls into fire, and often into water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him." 17 Jesus said in reply, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring him here to me." 18 Jesus rebuked him and the demon came out of him, and from that hour the boy was cured. 19 Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said, "Why could we not drive it out?" 20 He said to them, "Because of your little faith. Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."


 

I. THEME: Firmly hope in faith.

            Even though we are sinners and deservedly suffered because of our sins; but we are easy to be angry when we see other people whom we think have more sins than us live a more happy life. Then, we ask ourselves that where is God? Does He see what is happening? Why does He let “good people” greatly suffer while the wicked enjoy a prosperous life? From these questions, we are easy to come to two conclusions, either there is no God or God is unjust.

            Today readings give us two reasons why we must persevere in our faith. In the first reading, the prophet Habakkuk didn’t understand why God let the Northern Kingdom fall in the Assyrians’ hands, a wicked nation who doesn’t know God. God advised the prophet to be patient, he shall understand the reason of what He does through time. In the Gospel, when the disciples asked Jesus that why couldn’t they expel the demon for the child who his father brought to them, Jesus gave them a simple reason: because your faith is weak!

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: The righteous live by faith.

1.1/ “Why, then, do you gaze on the faithless in silence while the wicked man devours one more just than himself?”

            The prophet Habakkuk might carry his prophetic mission at the same time with the prophet Nahum (ca. 640-598 B.C.), the time of the Israelites’ exile in Assyria. The two main reasons of the exile are: First, they were unfaithful to God, chased after foreign gods and worshipped them as the prophet Hosea accused them. Second, they were unjust toward the poor by using their power to take away their houses and land as the prophet Amos accused them.

            The prophet Habakkuk, even though recognized the Israel’s sins, thought that the Assyrians had more sins than the Israelites and God should punish them more than He punished the Israelites. He couldn’t understand why God used a more wicked and faithless nation to punish His people, as he questioned God, “Are you not from eternity, O Lord, my holy God, immortal? O Lord you have marked him for judgment, O Rock, you have readied him for punishment! Too pure are your eyes to look upon evil, and the sight of misery you cannot endure. Why, then, do you gaze on the faithless in silence while the wicked man devours one more just than himself?”

1.2/ “The rash man has no integrity; but the just man, because of his faith, shall live."

            Habakkuk, as also Job, wanted to understand why did God do such a thing? He wrote: “I will stand at my guard post, and station myself upon the rampart, and keep watch to see what he will say to me, and what answer he will give to my complaint.”

            Then the Lord answered him and said: “Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets, so that one can read it readily. For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint; if it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late.”

            God has his agenda and time, He needs no one to counsel Him. God can use the Assyrians as the stick to punish the Israelites; and after that is done, he can break that stick by using the Babylonians to punish the Assyrians. Still more, He can use the Persians to destroy the Babylonians and to set free the remnant of Israel, after they recognized their sins and sincerely repent. All of these shall happen through time.

            The sinners have no right to question God or to rush what God is doing. They must recognize God’s providence and their sins. They must persevere in faith and patiently wait for the day when God shall take away His punishment. The prophet Habakkuk understood God’s providence and wrote: “The rash man has no integrity; but the just man, because of his faith, shall live."

2/ Gospel: “Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

2.1/ The strong faith of the boy’s father: Like the Canaanite woman who persevered in her faith and overcame all obstacles in order to receive Jesus’ healing for her daughter, the father who had a lunatic son, also acted the same. First, he brought his son to Jesus’ disciples, but they couldn’t heal him. Next, he wasn’t discouraged, he tried to find an opportunity to meet Jesus himself because he firmly believed that Jesus can heal his son.

2.2/ The weak faith of Jesus’ disciples: When Jesus heard the man said, “I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him;" Jesus said in reply, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring him here to me.”

            Why did Jesus speak these words? It isn’t certainly because the father’s lack of faith, but the disciples’ lack of faith. Jesus taught them too many things and did too many miracles before them; these weren’t enough for them to put their complete trust in him.

            When they brought the boy to Jesus, he rebuked him and the demon came out of him, and from that hour the boy was cured. Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said, "Why could we not drive it out?" He said to them, "Because of your little faith. Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

           

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                     

            - Our faith are so easy to be shaken as the prophet Habakkuk and Jesus’ disciples when we face trial and suffering in our life.

            - We should persevere in hope and faith as the father who had his lunatic son instead of losing our patience and questioning God why He let us suffering or why we couldn’t do what others could do.

            - A firm faith in God shall help us to endure suffering peacefully, and especially we shall never question God’s providence.

Donation (credit card)

Thanks for your supporting.

Amount: