Gospel: 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.

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today, the Lord asks us a difficult question, yet he seems not to answer. He asks us what we think of what “the scribes claim ” about the Messiah. This question concerns us in all aspects of our life, even the most marginal: with that “how do.” Our concrete experience of faith is our experience that he is the Son of David, the Messiah sent by the Father to save us. But, Jesus knows us and knows that we too, as probably part of the crowd, “in the temple.” Think about this question as if we are the scribes. He knows that we would be happy without such an issue because we are anxious about “the things down here.”

We have already touched the heart of the question posed by Jesus. The scribes said that the Messiah would be the son of David strictly according to a bloodline. In short, a human messiah would restore the Kingdom of Israel even better than David. Do you feel an echo of this messianic vision in your heart? Perhaps your little “kingdom” is threatened, and maybe it is occupied by a foreign power? Your mother-in-law, for example, is worse than the Romans were for the Jews.

But courage, Jesus loves us! With love, he reels us in with that “how do.” Jesus can ask us, in other words, “How do you say you believe in me, and you still have mini-meltdowns over money?.”  Jesus, in fact, does respond to the scribes. The answer is contained in the question! In Psalm 110, which Jesus quotes: “The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet.” This psalm challenges not only the position of the scribes but our own. Jesus tells us: How can you claim that Christ is the Lord, the son of David, if David, the king himself, calls him Lord, so how is he his son?

Scripture cannot be refuted. The Messiah was to be born of his descendants but would have been “Lord of my Lord,” Son of God. In the Greek translation of the books of the Old Testament, the ineffable name below which God revealed to Moses, is rendered with KYRIOS (κύριος, “lord”). Since then, “Lord” has become the most common name to indicate the same divinity as the God of Israel. The New Testament uses the title of “Lord” quite actively for the Father. But, (and this is the novelty,) Jesus is also recognized as “Lord” as he is God because he is of “divine nature.” The Father manifested this lordship of Jesus by raising him from the dead and exalting him in his glory.” (CCC 446).

The Father exalted the Son just as David had written: “Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies as a stool at your feet.” The Church recognizes the exaltation of Jesus, the image of the enthronement rite from the beginning. The Father raises his Son by making him sit on a throne to the right of his own. In common with the Father, he has the “stool,” which in many passages of the Old Testament appears as “an image applied to the ark, a visible throne of the invisible presence of God who administers justice by crushing perversity and evil” (Ravasi).

His enemies are also “ours,” the legion of demons who threaten us. They are no different from those who David fought to enthrone the Ark in Jerusalem and to defend his kingdom.

Therefore, Jesus is “Son of David” because he fully accomplishes what was only overshadowed in King David. Jesus, the descendant of David, overcomes every enemy, sin, and death. He introduces the Ark into the Sanctuary, that is, his humanity in heavenly Jerusalem at the right hand of God.

With his humanity, ours, too, as St. Paul to the community of Ephesus: “You too had died for your sins and sins, in which you once lived in the manner of this world. But God, rich in mercy, for the great love with which he loved us, from the dead that we were for sins, he brought us back to life with Christ: in fact, you were saved by grace. With him, he also raised us and made us sit in heaven, in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2). St. Paul does not speak to the future, but to the past,  fulfilling what Psalm 110 prophesied of the Messiah. From here, our whole life changes radically! In the end, we are more than winners. We carry the seed of eternal life that the Lord gives us in his Church through the Word and the Sacraments, thus making us partakers of the triumph of the Messiah.

Also, we are born again every day in the womb of Mary, Mother of Jesus, and our Mother. Therefore, we are descendants of David, lords in our life, in the Lord who redeemed us. So here is “how the son of David can be Lord” is reigning over our lives! Then, we can answer Jesus’ question in this way: “I believe you are the Son of David! I believe, and for this, I beg you to draw me to your throne, on the cross, so that I too can reign with you by putting the stool of my feet idols of the world.”

In Christ,
Fr. Mauro