Catholic Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 9th Week in Ordinary Time – Friday – Mark 12:35-37
Having cleared the Temple (Mark 11:15-19) and rebuked and corrected various groups of Jewish leaders who sought to denigrate and challenged His Authority, Christ turns His attention to teaching the “great crowds” in the Temple. Christ begins with a mysterious contradiction in the way the Jews understood the Messiah (Jesus Himself). 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 the author of all Scripture, the Holy Spirit, to write down the psalm, asserts the Messiah (“my lord”) is invited by God (“The Lord”) to sit at “God’s right hand.”
But the accepted prophesy had a serious contradiction everyone had missed. The Jews rightly honored patriarchy (“honor thy father”) and David, the greatest king of Israel, would not call his son (either his own son or in his linage), “lord”; how could the patriarch David call a descendant “lord”? Despite the familiarity with this prophecy, the scribes, who’s sole vocation was to spend their days analyzing and debating the meaning of Scripture, had not caught the contradiction.
The crowd as “delighted” because Christ has revealed an obvious contradiction the learned scribes and everyone had missed; how could the Messiah could be both the “son of David” and David’s “lord.” While Christ 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 linage both through Joseph (Matt 1:1-16) and the Virgin Mary (Luke 3:23-38) and the Son of God through His divine linage (Luke 1:35). As a result, Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is both the son of David and infinitely superior to David (his “lord”).
Awed by Jesus Christ – Person of the Trinity, Christ not only inspires infinitely rich and deep Scripture and also fulfills Scripture. Divine Teacher, Christ reveals the fullness of the truth of Scripture beyond the insight of even the greatest scholars. Davidic King and Lord, Christ has powerful presence and wisdom that draws and awes great crowds.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Christ draws and delights great crowds with His astounding insights into Scripture. Consider that the wisdom of the greatest saints, theologians and popes of the Church pale in comparison to the knowledge of Christ. Be awed.
2) Christ affirms that Scripture is written by the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit; the Scripture handed down by Catholic Church is the actual word of God (CCC 101-119). Commit to a never-ending effort to meet and know Christ by studying the Bible, guided by the Church, and pray for Christ to help you build a daily discipline of reading Scripture.
3) Modern men, marinaded in democracy and individualism, bristle at the idea of being a servant/slave to a lord/king. Reflect upon what it means to call Christ, Lord (CCC 446-451), and pray for Christ to give you the wisdom and humility to submit yourself completely to His Lordship.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ
Virtue of the Day – Faith
Corporal Work of Mercy – To visit the sick
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To forgive all injuries