Homilette for Friday, June 6, 2008

Friday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

(Mark 12:35-37)

Once an advertising campaign promised to “bring a mountain to Chicagoland.” The pledge excited the city’s children who never saw a mountain other than in books. It turned out that the mountain was only a whole lot of coffee being introduced into the Chicago market.

In today’s gospel Jesus refutes a kind of advertising campaign about the Messiah who was to come. People of his time believed that the Messiah would be a mighty king literally in the line of David whose military exploits gave tiny Israel stature among the nations. Jesus notes, however, that one of the psalms refers to the Messiah as “my Lord.” Since David was considered the author of all the psalms, Jesus asks, how can David call his son “my lord”? Jesus means that the expectation of the Messiah as just a mighty king like David is inadequate. Somehow, Jesus implies, the Messiah’s accomplishments will overshadow David’s military feats.

Evidently, the people around Jesus have an inkling of what Jesus is driving at as the passage reports their delight. However, Christians living in the wake of Jesus’ resurrection have a more choice perspective for understanding his intention. Jesus died a horrific death as servant of all. His resurrection from the dead demonstrates that he has conquered evil. His sending of the Holy Spirit gives his followers a foretaste of his glory. For such deeds David and all creation should indeed call Jesus “`my lord.’”