Friday, Week Nine
Tobit 2:5-17; Psalm 1; Mark 12:35-37
“Blessed be God… May his holy name be praised… Because it is he who has had mercy on me.”
The Gospels clearly call Jesus the “Son of David,” which was a title for the Messiah. So why does Jesus seem to argue against this by asking, “How do the scribes claim that the Christ [the Messiah] is the son of David? David himself calls him ‘lord’ (Psalm 110:1); so how is he his son?”
Through Mary, Jesus was a human descendent of David. But he was more than this. He was God, the unique Son of the Father. God himself spoke and acted in him. Not to know this was not to know Jesus.
And not to know that Jesus himself speaks and acts in us when we minister as his body on earth is not to know ourselves. Shocking as it sounds, we have to say it: by Baptism we “became Christ.” Not to say this is to deny the mystery of who we are. Those are the words of St. Augustine, quoted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 795:
Let us rejoice then and give thanks that we have become not only Christians, but Christ himself. Do you understand and grasp, brethren, God's grace toward us? Marvel and rejoice: we have become Christ.
If we are conscious of the mystery of our being, the mystery of grace, the mystery that Paul said sums up everything he was sent to preach—“Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27)—then every act of ministry should be a mystical experience. We know with Paul, “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). Christ who acts with me, and me, and through me.
And anyone to whom we minister can say, “Blessed be God… May his holy name be praised… Because it is he who has had mercy on me.”
Praise the Lord, my soul!
Meditation: How do you, or could you, experience the difference between acting as sent by Jesus and acting as Christ himself?