Jesus delights a crowd by revealing a mysterious contradiction in the interpretation of ancient Scripture. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Piety from the Holy Spirit so he can more fruitfully meditate about the actual words of God in Scripture and by building the Virtue of Humility so he can humbly and joyfully submit to the Lord.
9th Week in Ordinary Time – Friday – Mk 12:35-37
Having cleared the Temple (Mk 11:15-19) and rebuked and corrected various groups of Jewish leaders who sought to denigrate and challenged His Authority, Jesus turns His attention to teaching the “great crowds” in the Temple. Jesus begins with a mysterious contradiction in the way the Jews understood the Messiah, who, though unknown to the Jews present, is Jesus who is standing right in front of them. Taught by the established experts, the Jewish scribes, the crowds believed Psalm 110 prophesied the Messiah was to be the son of David: King David, who was inspired by God, writes in Psalm 110 that the Messiah (“my lord”) is invited by God (“The Lord”) to sit at “God’s right hand.”
But the accepted prophecy had a serious contradiction everyone had missed. The Jews rightly honored patriarchy (“honor thy father”) and David, the greatest king of Israel; but King David would not call his son or one of his descendants, “lord.” Despite the familiarity with this prophecy, generations of scribes, whose sole vocation was to spend their days analyzing and debating the meaning of Scripture, had not caught the contradiction.
The crowd was “delighted” because Jesus has revealed an obvious contradiction the learned scribes and everyone had missed; how could the Messiah be both the “son of David” and David’s “lord.” While Jesus does not choose to answer the contradiction at this point, the mystery will be resolved with the Resurrection: Jesus is the Son of David by His human lineage both through Joseph (Mt 1:1-16) and the Virgin Mary (Lk 3:23-38), and the Son of God through His divine lineage (Lk 1:35). As a result, Jesus Christ, the Messiah, is both the son of David through human lineage and infinitely superior to David, his “Lord”, because Jesus is the Son of God.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be astounded by Jesus’ superior understanding and application of Sacred Scripture: Person of the Trinity, Jesus created and inspired David to write the verses Jesus quotes here; Jesus, the Son of David and Messiah, mysteriously reveals, through exquisite Logic (a part of Reason), David’s hidden insight that the Messiah is actually not a man, but the Lord (a divine Person); in this, Jesus both provides mysterious revelation but also mildly Rebukes the scribes and Pharisees (Mt 22:41), who, though supposedly learned, have failed to accurately interpret Scripture.
Meditate upon the actual words of God in Scripture
Realize: In this passage, Jesus confirms Scripture is directly inspired by the Holy Spirit (v 36); every Catholic man should revere Scripture for it is the actual word of God.
Believe: Reflect upon the Actual Word of God (CCC 101-119).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Piety so I am awed that I, a mere man, can hear Your actual words in Scripture; help me meditate daily upon Your Scripture, and regularly share Your words with my family and others.
Humbly and joyfully submit to the Lord
Realize: Modern men, prideful and rebellious, glorify individualism and independence, and resist authority; in stark contrast, every Catholic man is called to humbly and joyfully submit to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Believe: Reflect upon the Lord (CCC 446-451).
Pray: Jesus, my Lord and Savior, help me build the Virtue of Humility (a part of Justice) so I reject my pride, independence, and rebelliousness, I recognize my desperate need for You to be my Lord, I completely submit to Your authority, and joyfully call You my Lord and Savior; Lord, allow me to be forgiven of my foolish pride and rebelliousness in the Sacrament of Penance.