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Our Teacher and Master

  • June 4, 2021 (readings)
  • Friday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
  • Fr. John Bullock, LC
  • Mark 12:35-37

    As Jesus was teaching in the temple area he said, “How do the scribes claim that the Messiah is the son of David? David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said: The Lord said to my lord,‘Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies under your feet.’ David himself calls him ‘lord’; so how is he his son?” The great crowd heard this with delight.

    Opening Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, I come before you in prayer. I ask you to increase my faith so that I may hear and understand what you will tell me. May my understanding of your word and your mysteries lead me to a deeper love, and may that love move me to greater obedience to you.

    Encountering Christ:

    1. The Lord Said to My Lord: Jesus quoted Psalm 110:1, “The Lord said to my lord: ‘Sit at my right hand.’” The same psalm says, “Yours is princely power from the day of your birth” (Psalms 110:3). Therefore, it was quite reasonable for the scribes to interpret this passage as referring to David’s royal lineage. It was true that Joseph, Jesus’s foster-father, was of the house of David (Luke 1:27). However, their interpretation was incomplete. Jesus pointed to the mystery of the Incarnation. He is truly the son of David and truly the eternal Son of the Father. Our Lord’s person possesses each nature fully, both human and divine. 

    2. Jesus the Pedagogue: Jesus asked the scribes about something they knew, the prophecy in Psalm 110, to reveal something they did not yet know about that same prophecy. That is how we learn. We build from that which we know to learn something new. So our knowledge of two plus two equals four lays the groundwork for grasping the sum of four plus four. Jesus is a master teacher. Either by familiar Biblical references or by simple imagery taken from daily life, Jesus taught his listeners about himself and his kingdom. One of the primary purposes of Our Lord’s Incarnation was to make God more accessible to man; this is not only true in his reality as God and man, but also in his teaching.

    3. The Crowd Heard with Delight: In what did the crowd delight? It would seem in part that they delighted in Jesus getting the better of the scribes, the Sadducees, and the Pharisees. This passage came after attempts by Our Lord’s enemies to entrap him. Now Our Lord asked them a question, and one they could not answer. Humility rejoices when truth prevails over insincerity. However, they also rejoiced in the vindication of Our Lord’s doctrine. They were excited that his teaching showed no fissures, contradictions, or weaknesses. Our intellect demands that ideas be coherent. Even though they could not fully grasp Jesus’s teaching, the crowd saw that it withstood all challenges. This reassured and delighted them.

    Conversing with Christ: Lord Jesus, let me realize that your mystery constantly transcends me. Let me accept that your thoughts are not my thoughts, your ways not my ways (Isaiah 55:8). Nevertheless, I ask for the gift of understanding to grasp better the truths of faith, so that in turn I may live more accordingly. I marvel that you stoop to my lowliness so that I may know, love, and serve you. I thank you, Jesus, for such constant signs of love.

    Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will try to communicate some aspect of the faith to a friend by way of imagery or comparison. 


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