Reflection on the Daily Readings for 6/05/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture for Fri. of first week. Tobit 11:5-15. Psalm 146:2.7.8-9.9-10.
Mark 12:35-37. lectionary # 357:
How precious is our eyesight! Today’s scriptures open our eyes to three
different ways of seeing or to three different visions given to us for
meditation. Tobit, Anna, the Psalmist, and then the Gospel of Mark opens
our eyes to a new look at what a Psalm says about David and God!
Anna, the wife of Tobit, sees her son Tobiah coming toward her and she is
thrilled. Her eyes lead her to embrace and show her motherly affection.
What a gift to see him. She breaks out in a subtle way of thanking God,
“Now that I have seen you again, my son, I am ready to die.” Her natural
vision leads to joy and praise of God.
Tobit, is blind from an unusual happening. He is said to have cataracts.
But the mysterious messenger Raphael is accompanying Tobiah with a remedy
for curing Tobit’s blindness. It is one that is even extolled today as
medicinal and good for the eyes–the equivalent of fish oil in capsule
form–but since they did not have tablet vitamins in those days, Raphael
has advised Tobiah to bring some fish gall to heal Tobit. The advice is
followed through a ritual of applying, breathing or blowing upon the eyes
of Tobit, and finally the removing of the cataracts by pealing them away.
Tobit, like Anna, cries out, “I can see you, son, the light of my eyes.”
The Psalmist praises God for healings of various sorts but among them are
healings of the blind. “The Lord gives sight to the blind and raises up
those that were bowed down.Praise the Lord my soul.”
Jesus is asking a question that will lead those who are listening and
believing to a great inner vision about who the Messiah of God really is.
He brings up the first verse of Psalm 110 ( a royal messianic psalm) that
is emphasized in the New Testament in view of its messianic
characteristics. Jesus asks what is the meaning of the expression, “The
Lord said to my Lord: sit at my right hand until I make your enemies my
footstool.” Is Jesus calling into question the messianic lineage from
David? Some may think it does, but Jesus is probably saying that even
greater than the messianic physical lineage from David is the transcendent
relationship of the Anointed One (the Messiah) to God. We Christians would
understand that to be the divine sonship of Jesus and in our belief that he
is the Messiah but above all the Son of God, the Word of God made flesh,
and the blood descendant through Joseph of the house of David by his
adoption by Joseph the husband of Mary of Nazareth. Thus, “while humanly
descended from David (Matthew 1:1-17; Romans 1:3; II Timothy 2:8), the
messiah had a character transcending mere blood ties with David; so the
latter could rightly refer to him by the name otherwise reseved to
Yahweh.” (E.J. Mally, S.J. Jerome Biblical Commentary). Thus to
understands such a meaning attached to the Psalm one would have to have the
gift of faith in Jesus’ words and his deeds as the Son of God. We thank
God for all three ways of seeing. We remember also the blind who believe
without seeing. Amen.