JUNE 4. Ord Time. B. Wk 9. Fri. Mk. 12. 35-37
Updated: Sep 10
At that time while teaching in the Temple, Jesus said, ‘How can the scribes maintain that the Christ is the son of David? David himself, moved by the Holy Spirit, said:
The Lord said to my Lord:
‘Sit at my right hand
and I will put your enemies
under your feet’.
David himself calls him Lord, in what way then can he be his son?’ And the great majority of the people heard this with delight.
God promised King David that he would have a descendant who would remain forever. (2 Samual.7.12…) which was obviously a reference to the Messiah, and it was interpreted this way by Jewish tradition, which gave the Messiah the title ‘Son of David’.
In Jesus’ time this messianic title was understood in a very nationalistic sense; - the Jews were expecting an earthly King; - a descendant of David, who would free them from the Rule of the Romans.
In today’s Gospel Jesus is teaching the Pharisees that the Messiah has a higher origin; - he is not only the “Son of David” as his nature and source is more exalted than that; - for he is truly “The Son of God!”
This transcends his human origins and links it directly to God the Father, the creator of the world, the universe, and everything in them.
The reference to Psalm 110 which Jesus uses, points out that the Messiah is God; - which is the reason David calls him “Lord!”
Which is also why he is seated at the right hand of Gd, as he is equal in Power, Majesty and Glory. (Acts 33-36 and 1 Cor. 6. 25)
In this reading Jesus is also teaching us that Scripture is divinely inspired; - something demonstrated when he says David was inspired by the Holy Spirit in writing Psalm 110; - a message that remains important to this day, which is why we look to the Church to assist us in understanding Sacred Scripture. (I referred to the Navarre commentary in writing these notes!)
The Jews found it difficult to interpret the beginning of this Psalm and the words “The Lord said to my Lord” so he was making it clear to them that the second ‘Lord’ is the Messiah with whom Jesus implicitly identifies himself.
The mysteriously transcendental character of the Messiah is indicated by the Paradox of his being the Son, the descendant of David, and yet David calls him “Lord!”
Over the course of the Gospels Jesus had gradually revealed who he was, and many began to understand. St Peter acknowledged him as ‘Son of God’; - the blind man called him “Son of David”. Here Jesus says these titles are correct, but incomplete! He is above all “Son of God!”
Gospel Acclamation Jn14:23
All who love me will keep my words,
and my Father will love them and we will come to them.
First reading Tobit 11:5-17 · Tobit's sight is restored to him
Anna was sitting, watching the road by which her son would come. She was sure at once it must be he and said to the father, ‘Here comes your son, with his companion.’
Raphael said to Tobias before he reached his father, ‘I give you my word that your father’s eyes will open. You must put the fish’s gall to his eyes; the medicine will smart and will draw a filmy white skin off his eyes. And your father will be able to see and look on the light.’
The mother ran forward and threw her arms round her son’s neck. ‘Now I can die,’ she said ‘I have seen you again.’ And she wept. Tobit rose to his feet and stumbled across the courtyard through the door. Tobias came on towards him (he had the fish’s gall in his hand). He blew into his eyes and said, steadying him, ‘Take courage, father!’ With this he applied the medicine, left it there a while, then with both hands peeled away a filmy skin from the corners of his eyes. Then his father fell on his neck and wept. He exclaimed, ‘I can see, my son, the light of my eyes!’ And he said:
‘Blessed be God!
Blessed be his great name!
Blessed be all his holy angels!
Blessed be his great name for evermore!
For he had scourged me
and now has had pity on me
and I see my son Tobias.’
Tobias went into the house, and with a loud voice joyfully blessed God. Then he told his father everything: how his journey had been successful and he had brought the silver back; how he had married Sarah, the daughter of Raguel; how she was following him now, close behind, and could not be far from the gates of Nineveh.
Tobit set off to the gates of Nineveh to meet his daughter-in-law, giving joyful praise to God as he went. When the people of Nineveh saw him walking without a guide and stepping forward as briskly as of old, they were astonished. Tobit described to them how God had taken pity on him and had opened his eyes. Then Tobit met Sarah, the bride of his son Tobias, and blessed her in these words, ‘Welcome, daughter! Blessed be your God for sending you to us, my daughter. Blessings on your father, blessings on my son Tobias, blessings on yourself, my daughter. Welcome now to your own house in joyfulness and in blessedness. Come in, my daughter.’ He held a feast that day for all the Jews of Nineveh.