Scripture: Lectionary 357. June 8, 2012. II Timothy 3:10-17. Psalm 119:188.8.131.52.166.168. Mark 12:35-37:
Teaching is an important vocation. We all have learned from teachers who are educators and mentors and have helped us to find our own vocation; some of us have become teachers. In all of the Scriptural readings for this day, teaching is one of the main themes.
Paul is an apostle and teacher. His student Timothy has come of age and now takes on that role in the Christian communities entrusted to him by Paul. Timothy was faithful to the teachers he had and continues to remember them in his own teaching. They taught him the Scriptures and he has been faithful to observing them and embracing
their call to be holy even as our Heavenly Father is holy. The Scriptures are now his source for wisdom and guidance in his pastoral vocation. He has always been faithful to what he has learned from Paul and what he believes. His faith in Jesus leads him and his flock to salvation.
Moses is the greatest of teachers in the Hebrew Scriptures and is said to have written the Torah under the guidance and inspiration of God.
Psalm 119 is dedicated to the whole of the Torah and is a learning experience for those who read it carefully and meditatively. It leads the listener and reader to a total reverence and appreciation for God’s “instruction” through the Torah. We sing and praise God in this Psalm: O Lord, great peace have they who love thy law (teaching).” This longest of Psalms (176 verses) teaches us the spirit of the Torah and shows us the warmth of learning through praying it.
Jesus is teaching. He calls his listeners and opponents to consider the meaning of the Psalm that speaks of the Messiah addressing the Messiah as Lord. Could this be more the belief of the Church after the resurrection of Jesus and the thought of the community or communities that Mark has in mind? Father Daniel J. Harrington, S.J., a recent
commentator on the Gospel of Mark has this to say that may be helpful for our pondering over this text from Psalm 110:1: “Assuming that David is the speaker of Ps.110:1, he must be talking about someone other than himself. The first “Lord” is God; the second, “my lord” must be someone different from and superior to David. Therefore the Messiah is not adequately and exhaustively described as the Son of David.” (New Jerome Biblical Commentary, p.623, and Sacra Pagina, Mark). Amen.
Copyright 2012 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.