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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 (2Tim 3:10-17): You have followed my teaching, way of life, purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra, persecutions that I endured. Yet from all these things the Lord delivered me. In fact, all who want to live religiously in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But wicked people and charlatans will go from bad to worse, deceivers and deceived.

But you, remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know from whom you learned it, and that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
Responsorial Psalm: 118
R/. O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
Though my persecutors and my foes are many, I turn not away from your decrees.

Permanence is your word’s chief trait; each of your just ordinances is everlasting.

Princes persecute me without cause but my heart stands in awe of your word.

Those who love your law have great peace, and for them there is no stumbling block.

I wait for your salvation, o Lord, and your commands I fulfill.

I keep your precepts and your decrees, for all my ways are before you.
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 area he said, "How do the scribes claim that the Christ 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.

“David himself calls him '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: “Son of David, have pity 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 “my brothers, one can confidently say to you about the patriarch David that he died and was buried, and his tomb is in our midst to this day… God raised this Jesus; of this we are all 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)