June 5, 2020
by Mike Cherney
Creighton University's Physics Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Memorial of Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr
Lectionary: 357

2 Timothy 3:10-17
Psalms 119:157, 160, 161, 165, 166, 168
Mark 12:35-37

Praying Ordinary Time

Praying in Times of Crisis

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Ordinary Time Symbols in Our Home

Today’s Gospel takes place in the temple area somewhat after Jesus’ triumphal arrival in Jerusalem. It is the continuation of the other Gospel readings of the week. In the previous passages, first some Pharisees and Herodians, then some Sadducees, and finally one of the scribes try to trap Jesus with their questions. Jesus responds in ways that do not advance the cause of those trying to ensnare him. Indeed, they seem to be agreeing with his answers. Jesus now becomes the one who poses a question. This question is meant to address a more traditional view that the Messiah would be a human leader, a king with a royal heritage, a military leader. Jesus challenges them to think that the Messiah might also have a more divine origin referencing Psalm 110 attributed to David. I can imagine myself as part of the crowd that had been drawn to Jesus by these exchanges. I can picture an apparent lack of a response by the elders to Jesus’ new interpretation of this Psalm further increasing His favor with the crowd. I envision Jesus coming across as learned and perhaps even somewhat charismatic. I see Jesus in this series of interactions transcending His humble birth and His coming of age off the beaten track. (I think of my years working as a researcher based at Creighton in Omaha. I often felt that my work might have been tested against a higher standard than those coming from more celebrated institutions located in larger metropolitan areas. To some extent I can empathize with the challenges that Jesus faced in these interactions.)

These days (and this Gospel) have reminded me of the social hierarchies. We are all human beings possessing the right to a certain dignity, still the structure of society and current norms lead to profound differences in the ways in which many are treated. I am fortunate to find myself in a position of privilege and opportunity; I am healthy and still rather financially secure. This pandemic has made manifest how many have been marginalized in terms of heath care and economic vulnerability. I find myself challenged in how I am called to respond.

Heavenly Father,
The television and my smart phone bring the needs of those around me into my sight.
Help me to discern how I can best be a source of support to those who are in need.
The Gospel today focused on your divinity.
Remind me of the spark of divinity that exists within us all.
In today’s epistle St. Paul encouraged Timothy that, despite its trials, the Word provides us with mission worthy of pursuit.
Draw me into service that responds to Your presence in this world.

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