Thursday, June 8, 2017

Friday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time - The Power of the Messiah

As Jesus was teaching in the Temple area, he said, "How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the son of David? David himself, by the Holy Spirit, declared, ´The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet."´ David himself calls him Lord; so how can he be his son?" And the large crowd was listening to him with delight.

Introductory Prayer: Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me your servant. I want to be yours, Lord; reveal yourself to me in my prayer so that I can love you personally and intimately. Let me come to realize that you are living and active in my soul today, and help me to respond to your inspirations.

Petition: Lord Jesus Christ, come be my Savior with your power and might. Reign over my sinfulness that I might learn to praise you alone.

1. Greater than David. Jesus speaks and the crowds listen intently. His knowledge of scripture is extraordinary, and he knows how to use it in its proper context, in reference to himself. David was universally recognized as the one who wrote this psalm (110) in which he addresses the Messiah as his Lord, as being superior to him. Thus by bringing up this question, Christ is claiming that he is greater than David. His authority comes not only from his descent from David’s house, but much more from his transcendent origin – his Father in heaven. When we look at Christ, we ought to see one who is greater than anyone our society praises or holds up for us to admire. David was a prophet honored by the Jews. “To be greater than David” was a help for them to understand who Christ was. To look at Christ and see someone irrelevant for today’s day and age is to misunderstand what the Messiah came for. He saves all: then, now and until the end of the world.

2. At the Right Hand of God. After Christ’s Resurrection, St Peter speaks out boldly and with great confidence that Christ Jesus is the Messiah. In the second chapter of Acts he refers to this passage of Scripture as proof that Jesus truly rose from the dead. Since David is trustworthy, and David said that the Messiah would not undergo corruption, but would sit at God’s right hand, therefore he truly did rise and is in heaven. St Peter wishes to show Christ’s Resurrection as foolproof so the Jews will accept him as their savior and follow his teaching. We will never be able to live out Christ’s teaching if he remains an historical figure for us, in other words, if we believe –– maybe –– that he died and rose, but for all practical purposes, his life is dead to ours. To experience the true peace of Christ, we must develop an intimate relationship with a real person who is living and active in our lives. Christ must be alive for me!

3. Enemies under His Feet. Those who live by faith know that the final outcome will be that the faithful are the victors. This phrase about “enemies under one’s feet” depicts the practice in ancient times of the victor placing his foot on the back of the conquered foe who lies prostrate on the ground in an act of submission. That Christ will return at the end of the world is known. We who live by faith pray that we will be his friends on that great and terrible day. Our world can convince us at times that we are losing, that since we cannot join in their sinful pleasures, we will never be happy. O let the world enjoy its pastimes, while we the faithful hold fast to our victor who is to come in triumph. Let us renew our faith in him and in his ways by living as he asks of us. The faithful will be victors with Christ!

Dialogue with Christ: O Jesus, I want no glory unless united to your glory. Help me to shun the world and its ways and to embrace wholeheartedly your will, your ways and your love.

Resolution: Today I will repeat frequently, especially when I am tempted to put him aside, “Lord, you alone are my joy!”

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