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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Friday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading (Tob 11:5-17): Anna sat watching the road by which her son was to come. When she saw him coming, she exclaimed to his father, «Tobit, your son is coming, and the man who traveled with him!». Raphael said to Tobiah before he reached his father: «I am certain that his eyes will be opened. Smear the fish gall on them. This medicine will make the cataracts shrink and peel off from his eyes; then your father will again be able to see the light of day».

Then Anna ran up to her son, threw her arms around him, and said to him, «Now that I have seen you again, son, I am ready to die!». And she sobbed aloud. Tobit got up and stumbled out through the courtyard gate. Tobiah went up to him with the fish gall in his hand, and holding him firmly, blew into his eyes. «Courage, father», he said. Next he smeared the medicine on his eyes, and it made them smart. Then, beginning at the corners of Tobit’s eyes, Tobiah used both hands to peel off the cataracts. When Tobit saw his son, he threw his arms around him and wept. He exclaimed, «I can see you, son, the light of my eyes!». Then he said: «Blessed be God, and praised be his great name, and blessed be all his holy angels. May his holy name be praised throughout all the ages, because it was he who scourged me, and it is he who has had mercy on me. Behold, I now see my son Tobiah!». Then Tobit went back in, rejoicing and praising God with full voice for everything that had happened.

Tobiah told his father that the Lord God had granted him a successful journey; that he had brought back the money; and that he had married Raguel’s daughter Sarah, who would arrive shortly, for she was approaching the gate of Nineveh. Tobit and Anna rejoiced and went out to the gate of Nineveh to meet their daughter-in-law. When the people of Nineveh saw Tobit walking along briskly, with no one leading him by the hand, they were amazed. Before them all Tobit proclaimed how God had mercifully restored sight to his eyes. When Tobit reached Sarah, the wife of his son Tobiah, he greeted her: «Welcome, my daughter! Blessed be your God for bringing you to us, daughter! Blessed is your father, and blessed is my son Tobiah, and blessed are you, daughter! Welcome to your home with blessing and joy. Come in, daughter!». That day there was joy for all the Jews who lived in Nineveh.
Responsorial Psalm: 145
R/. Praise the Lord, my soul!
Praise the Lord, o my soul; I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God while I live.

The Lord keeps faith forever, secures justice for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets captives free.

The Lord gives sight to the blind. The Lord raises up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the just. The Lord protects strangers.

The fatherless and the widow he sustains, but the way of the wicked he thwarts. The Lord shall reign forever, your God, o Zion, through all generations!
Versicle before the Gospel (Jn 14:23): Alleluia. Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him and we will come to him. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Mk 12,35-37): As Jesus was teaching in the Temple, he said, «The teachers of the Law say that the Messiah is the son of David. How can that be? For David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit declared: ‘The Lord said to my Lord: sit at my right until I put your enemies under your feet’. If David himself calls him Lord, in what way can he be his son?». Many people came to Jesus and listened to him gladly.

«David himself calls him [the Messiah] Lord»

Fr. Josep LAPLANA OSB Monk of Montserrat (Montserrat, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, Judaism still claims the Messiah has to be the “son of David” that must inaugurate a new age of the kingdom of God. We Christians “know” the Messiah, Son of David, is Jesus Christ and that His kingdom has already started —as a seed that germinates, grows up and bears fruit— and will become a visible and magnificent reality when Jesus comes back at the end of time. But already now Jesus is the Son of David and allows us to live “in hope” by enjoying the benefits of the Messianic Kingdom.

The title of “Son of David” applied to Jesus Christ forms part of the backbone of the Gospel. In the Annunciation, the Virgin received this message: «And the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and He will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end» (Lk 1:32-33). The destitute that begged Jesus to cure them, were saying: «You son of David, have mercy on me!» (Mk 10:48). When Jesus solemnly entered in Jerusalem He was acclaimed: «Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come! Hosanna in the highest » (Mk 11:10). The very old book Didache thanks God «for the holy vineyard of David, your servant, that we have come to know through Jesus, your servant».

But Jesus is not only the son of David, but also the Lord. He confirms it solemnly by quoting the Davidic Psalm 110. The Jews cannot understand it: it is impossible that the son of David can also be the “Lord”. St. Peter, witness of Jesus resurrection, clearly saw that Jesus had been constituted “Lord of David”, because «Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day (...), but Jesus God rose up, whereof we all are witnesses» (Acts 2:29-32).

«His Son, descended from David according to the flesh, but established as Son of God in power», as St. Paul names him (cf. Rm 1:3-4), has become forms of the attraction focus of all men's hearts, and thus, softly attracting us towards him, He already exerts now his lordship over all men that address him with Love and in Trust.

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • “If we want to pray for the Kingdom of God to come, we must ask him for this with the power of the Word: that I may be distanced from corruption, delivered from death, freed from the chains of error.” (Saint Gregory of Nyssa)

  • “In a dispute with the Pharisees, Jesus himself provides a new interpretation of Psalm 110. The true Messiah is not David’s son, but David’s Lord. He sits, not on David’s throne, but on God’s throne.” (Benedict XVI)

  • “Jesus himself affirms that God is ‘the one Lord’ whom you must love ‘with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength’. At the same time Jesus gives us to understand that he himself is ‘the Lord’. To confess that Jesus is Lord is distinctive of Christian faith. This is not contrary to belief in the One God (…)” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nº 202)