Friday of the 9th Week of the Year

Mark 12:35-37

The Question about David’s Son


What does it mean to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord? The word Lord means “ruler” or “king” — the one who is owed “fealty” andsubmission“. The Lord or Master of our lives is the person or thing we give our lives over to or submit to in a full way.  We can. Only one Lord can truly set us free to love and to be loved as God intended from the beginning.


Today’s gospel passage is not easy to understand. Yet it must be an important teaching of the Lord, considering the fact that it was mentioned also by two evangelists, Matthew and Luke (Matt 2:42-46, Luke 20:42-44).

What does this passage? What is Jesus trying to tell us?

Mark narrates: “The large crowd listened to Him with delight.” Bible commentaries suggest that the purpose of the quotation Jesus used was to show the crowds and the Pharisees that the Messiah was more than a descendant of David. The Messiah was David’s Lord and superior. This was radical teaching for the enemies of Jesus and to those indifferent to Him. However, the critics were temporarily silenced and no one dared to ask Jesus questions anymore. The truth being revealed was too dangerous to the listeners. If Jesus was David’s Lord and superior, everything would change. People would need to choose sides in spiritual-political-religious revolution. That would turn their world upside down. It could disturb if not destroy their comfortable lives.

This passage confronts us with radical questions like: Who is Jesus? Whose Son is He? Is He the Messiah? If indeed He is how is life to be lived? These radical questions demand radical answers. A radical change in the way we think, say and do, the way we live. This particular passage challenges us how we must address the many issues in our life…terrorism, over-population, war, feminism, ecological problems and the like. (Fr. Emmanuel de Leon, SVD Bible Diary 2004)


What does it mean to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord? The word “Lord” means ‘ruler’ or ‘king’, the one who is owed ‘submission.’  The lord or master of our lives is the person or thing we surrender our lives to in a full way. Many things – our unruly passions, the love of money, alcohol, drugs, etc., can rule us. Only one Lord can truly set us free to love and to be loved as God intended from the beginning. When we acknowledge that Jesus is Lord we invite Him to be the King of our heart and the ruler of our thoughts, relationships and all that we do. Is the Lord Jesus the true King of your heart and do you give Him free reign in every area of your life?

Let us believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of David and the Son of God. He is our Lord and let us willingly submit ourselves to His rule in our lives. Let Him be the Lord and King of our life, our thoughts, hearts, homes, relationships, work and all that we do. (Fr. Bar Favella, SVD Bible Diary 2006)


It took me some time before I could make sense out of this particular gospel passage from Mark. As David was inspired by the Holy Spirit so that he could say: “The Lord said to my Lord…” so also, the Holy Spirit had pity on me to help me make some meaningful reflection out of this gospel passage.

David, since his early youth, was favored by God; he was chosen by God. As he grew older, all the more he realized that he was really called by God to serve his people. but such conviction did not go into his head. David remained humble; he acknowledged his weaknesses, failures and limitations. He knew where he stood and he accepted his real identity.

David is a model for those who have been chosen to serve people. Leaders in Church and government are there to serve the people and not to lord it over them. Whatever position we have in Church, in government or society is first and foremost for the good of all. The dignity and honor attached to our position in Church and society come only as secondary. We copy our Lord who came not to be served but to serve and give His life as a “ransom for many.”

I remember watching a bishop on TV serving a group of elderly people in a nursing home somewhere in the U.S. He was doing it as part of his Lenten sacrifice. Our service to people is a lifetime service and we do it in the name of Jesus our Lord. (Fr. Antonio Pegon, SVD Bible Diary 2007)


Our gospel reading today shows how Jesus used the Scriptures to explain who He was. He clarified in this instance how He can be God (whom David calls “lord”) and man (as the descendant of David). “The great crowd heard this with delight,” Mark wrote further.

The Scriptures provide to a lot of people many insights of understanding their daily lives. When I was newly ordained priest, I was assigned in Dagupan City. There was a small group of friends who started meeting on Sunday afternoons in a friend’s home to read and study the Bible. They shared while seated in a circle. Soon they called themselves, “Circle for Christ.” The group members liked the way their sharing went and each one started talking to their other friends about it. The group grew as more people joined. Later the Bible study became more organized and systematic. Group members took time to study or undergo training to become facilitators. The original circle expanded to other circles in other places. More people were experiencing the joy of discovering the Word of God. Soon some started thinking how to make the word more alive or more concrete in the lives of their less fortunate brothers and sisters. They were able to solicit scholarships for poor but deserving students. They also started on a program intended to help the youth, especially young girls, as they would not end up in prostitution. They have other activities (too many to mention here) as they continued with their apostolate even long after I left Dagupan. For me it was a living proof of how the Scriptures can become a force in people’s lives that enable them to reach out to others. As the crowd in the time of Jesus heard His words with delight, so the crowds of today also find delight and enlightenment in God’s words.  in God’s words. (Fr. Gil Alejandria, SVD Bible Diary 2009)


“May I use your phone,” the white-haired man asked the young priest who was seated in an easy chair, reading.

“Go ahead, sir,” the priest replied, taking a quick look at the man in simple polo barong whom he had never seen before, motioned towards the phone and continued reading.

The man, who had come into the sala of the parish on Kamuning, Quezon City, rather casually started to dial. Then he identified himself over the phone: “This is Cardinal Vidal….”

The priest jumped up and as soon as the good cardinal was through using the phone expressed his embarrassment at not recognizing him and humbly offered his apologies.

The scribes in Christ’s time would have more reason to feel embarrassed had they gotten to recognize Christ for what he was really.

To the delight of the great crowd who was listening to him, Jesus said, “How do the scribes claim that the Messiah 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 scribes and the Pharisees failed to recognize the divine in the human; God in the lowly Jesus of Nazareth! We may not have the same failing, but don’t we often find it difficult to recognize and accept the divine element in the Church because of her human face, with its wrinkles, warts and all?

Similarly don’t we find it difficult to see the image of God in many a human being we come across in life? More, precisely, don’t we find it difficult to see the face of Christ in the least of our brethren?

Indeed, all too often the human blocks the divine! (Fr. Cornelio Alpuerto, SVD Bible Diary 2012)


A Good Homily

June 5, 2015 (readings)

Memorial of Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr

Father Edward Hopkins, LC

Mark 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.

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe that you have created and redeemed me. I believe that you have called me to prayer today. I trust that you will teach me to pray and relish what is right and true, good and beautiful. I love you, Lord, for in you is all perfection, goodness and love.

Petition: Lord Jesus, make my heart more like yours.

  1. Speaking for All to Hear: Imagine Jesus teaching in the Temple area, surrounded by hundreds of spiritually hungry men and women. In the background and at a distance stand the scribes: cold stares, squinting eyes, full of distrust, fear and scheming. He raises his voice, enough for even those in the back to hear. He is speaking to everyone. What are their dispositions? Most of the crowd does more than hear; they listen intently. They believe that God will speak to them through Jesus, speak to their needs and hearts, and give them the love, truth and inspiration they need. Others listen but superficially. Their motives are curiosity, entertainment and vanity – something to talk about. The scribes don’t listen, except for what might serve their plotting. Jesus still tries to reach them then and reach me now. Am I open?
  2. A Mysterious Identity: Lord and Son – The scribes oppose Jesus for many reasons: jealousy, ignorance, pride…. But the greatest reason is that he acts as though he were the Messiah, even God himself. How close they are to the truth! Using their own Scriptures, he points to this truth: somehow the Messiah will be both son and Lord. His rebuttal of their objections is another effort of his heart to reach out. He invites them to rise to the level of faith. Reminiscent of his words to his own mother – “Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s work” (Luke 2:49) – Jesus is a son of man by birth, but by origin and mission he is the Lord, the Son of the Most High. Do I overcome my own pride and ignorance with faith, allowing God to work at his level, far beyond my comprehension?
  3. Hearing with Delight: Prayer is a difficult and challenging art; indeed, it is much more than an art. We try to focus, reflect and enter into dialogue with someone we neither see nor hear with our senses. And worst of all, we don’t usually feel anything: “I get nothing out of it!” While prayer is not about feelings, but rather loving, it is nonetheless an experience that should move us in some way to change. Listening to Jesus brought “delight” to the crowds. A neat and convincing argument! The wonderment of discovering truth! The joy and satisfaction of seeing their champion score a victorious blow! Whatever the occasion, our experience of Christ in prayer can at times produce delight, but only to the degree that we share or conform our thoughts, desires and loves to his. The scribes found no delight, for they shared not his heart and mind. Where is my delight?

Conversation with Christ: Dear Jesus, open my heart to your words. Help me to believe even if it hurts or demands that I change my ideas. Raise me up above my own prejudices and insecurities. Show me what to change in my life. I want do it in order to love you more fully and to delight more deeply in your friendship and love.

Resolution: I will choose and develop a love for one spiritual value, virtue or good. I will look for it in Christ, reflect on its beauty, and ask him to grant it to me.

© 1980-Present. The Legion of Christ, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Reproduced with Permission of Copyright Owner.


One Bread, One Body – Reflection for June 5, 2015


“David himself addresses Him as ‘Lord.’ ” –Mark 12:37

Demons believe in God (Jas 2:19). In the Gospels, demons address Jesus by various titles: “Son of God” (Mt 8:29; Lk 4:41), “Holy One of God” (Lk 4:34), “Son of God Most High” (Lk 8:28). However, the demons never address Jesus by the title “Lord.” This is because the title “Lord” means ownership, and demons have rebelled against being ruled by God. Scripture says, “No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except in the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor 12:3), and demons do not live according to the Spirit of God.

How about us? Are we rebelling against God and not living according to the Holy Spirit? Are we any better than the demons? If not, we won’t be able to stomach the prospect of addressing Jesus as Lord. Calling Jesus “Lord” has life-changing ramifications, in particular, obedience to Jesus. Lord Jesus declares: “None of those who cry out, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of God, but only the one whodoes the will of My Father in heaven” (Mt 7:21). “Lord” is a serious word.

The next time you attend Mass, count the number of times you hear the word “Lord” spoken in reference to Jesus. This is a profession of reality and a declaration of joyful submission to Lord Jesus. Jesus really and truly is Lord, that is, He is our Owner (see 1 Cor 6:19-20). We owe Lord Jesus obedience and total allegiance in a world hostile to his lordship (see Lk 19:14). Repent of any refusal to submit to the lordship of Jesus in your life. Accept Jesus as your Lord.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, at every Mass, whenever we speak the word “Lord,” may we gratefully submit every facet of our lives to Your lordship. “Lord, hear our prayer.”

PROMISE: “The Lord gives sight to the blind.” –Ps 146:8

PRAISE: St. Boniface worked tirelessly to uproot ancient superstitions of the early German people and labored until his death to bring light and truth. He died with thirty companions for proclaiming the name of the Lord.


June 5, 2015

Friday of the 9th Week of Ordinary Time B

Tobit 11: 5-7, Mk 12: 35-37

A Question of Identity

These days in the readings we were hearing Sadducees, Pharisees and scribes asking questions to Jesus. Their questions were designed to trap Jesus and cause him to lose his influence with the people. They were trying everything in their power to prove his ignorance of the Word of God. After Jesus had answered all their questions and put them to shame in the face of the people, he had a question for them. He asked them, “How can the scribes say that Christ is the son of David?”

This incident in this passage was happening a few days before the death of Jesus on the cross. According to many Bible scholars it was on Tuesday before the Good Friday. Nearing the end of his life on earth, Jesus was trying to make them understand his true identity.

When Jesus uses the word ‘Christ’, he is implying that that the Messiah would be more than a man. The Jews were looking for a human being, Jesus is about to show them that the Messiah will be be human but He will also be God. They were not ready for this truth.

He asks them about Psalm 110:1, where David addresses the Messiah as his Lord! The implication is clear; The Christ is David’s son by virtue of his incarnation in the lineage of david, and he is David’s Lord by virtue of his being God.

The Apostle Paul would later write that Jesus is- i) The son of David according to the flesh… (Rom1:3) ii) The son of God as proved by His resurrection (Rom 1:4)


FOUR PARTIES AND A WEDDING – “Welcome, my daughter! Blessed be your God for bringing you to us…” – Tobit 11:17

It was the most unusual wedding cake I’d ever seen — personalized with figurines that looked like the principal characters. But what made it one of a kind were the three statuettes topping it. The third figurine was for the bride’s daughter by her first marriage.

Carol met Gene while going through an annulment. It wasa messy custody battle so they kept their relationship low-key.

Gene was very supportive of Carol. He gave up a lot in the years it took to finalize the annulment because he loved not just Carol but also her daughter, Gail. The unique wedding cake spoke of Gene’s wholehearted welcome of Gail into his family. Theirgiveaway, a booklet, included Bible verses showing how God is very much a part of their relationship. This encompassing love for family and God augured well for their marriage.

Some marriages fail because the role of God and family are forgotten. Tobit’s warm welcome for Sarah and how he thinks God brought her to them is something families should emulate. This shows there are four parties in a marriage: the couple, their families and God. Lella M. Santiago (

Reflection: How can you show love to the new members of your family?

Lord, help me to be a blessing and not a curse to my family, both old and new.


GOD IS MUCH, MUCH MORE! – Today’s Gospel narrative is a bit confusing. From the time of the great King David, the Israelites have always believed that the Messiah will come from his lineage, and indeed Jesus Himself will be proclaimed “Son of David.” Now, what is the point of Jesus questioning the claim of the scribes about the Davidic descent of the Messiah?

Surely, Jesus did not mean to deny the Davidic line of the Messiah. He simply wanted to make everyone realize that though “Son of David,” the Messiah will be much more than David. In absolute sense, the Messiah — though descended in the flesh through Judah and David — is of transcendent origin. Jesus then points out the words of Psalm 110:1. The Messiah is called“Kyrios (Lord), a title reserved to God the Maker of All. Therefore, the Messiah is God as the Father who sends. This we acknowledge when each Sunday we profess that Jesus is “God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God, Begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father.”

It is good to assure ourselves that God is close and personal and we call Him in endearing ways, such as Father, my Best Friend, my Companion. Further, some love to call on Jesus as “Kuya Jes,” “JC,” etc. Nonetheless, let us always remember: The Father and Jesus share the sovereign, majestic, unique dignity of Divinity. To them is always due our honor, our praise, our worship, our unconditional submission. Fr. Domie Guzman, SSP

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: What is your favorite and personal way of remembering God’s glory and power in your life? Are you giving to God the worship that is due Him?

How do you observe Sunday as the Lord’s Day?

You are Most Holy, Father. You are King and Lord. May I give You the honor due to You.


See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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