2Tm 3:10-17; Ps 119:157,160,161,165,166,168; Mk 12: 35-37
Even after one has endured many years of exile and a great deal of suffering, still his heart stands in awe of the Word of God. Just such exiles have come to know the great peace of those who love the law of the Lord, the Word of God. Many persecutors and foes try to defeat and discourage those who love the Lord. These evil men take delight in watching someone lose faith, give up on God. However, the Word of God is permanent and his Just Decrees endure like the sun and the moon, from age to age. This revelation is a source of inspiration and courage in every age. We continue to love the law of the Lord. Those who have power and lord it over others in this world are taken aback and fearful of all who stand in awe of the Word of God. Over such as these tyrants have no power, and this resistance and this rebellion cannot be overwhelmed or snuffed out. Every stumbling block set in place by the status quo does not harm or hinder the journey of the faithful. Indeed, we wait, we wait for salvation from The LORD, and as we wait we fulfill his every command—not one jot or tittle shall be ignored. While keeping the Lord’s precepts and decrees, all our ways are before the LORD. Before ever a word is on my tongue the Lord knows it through and through. His knowledge of each one of us is altogether too much. Indeed, behind and before he besieges me; his hand is ever laid upon me, such knowledge is too wonderful for me too high beyond my reach. Like our ancestor in the faith, Saint Paul, the Lord Jesus has delivered us from great persecution and painful exile. Like one who belongs to God, we may be competent, equipped for every good work. Even when atheism and ridicule abound in our world we still recognize who is Lord and to whom we belong.
Anyone who belongs to God in Christ has learned well at the foot of the cross. Like Saint Timothy we have learned from Saint Paul how to rejoice in the midst of persecution. From all such things the Lord Jesus delivered and continues to deliver us. It is unavoidable for anyone who wants to live religiously in Christ. We will be persecuted, just like Saint Paul and Saint Timothy. If we love Christ, we will love the cross. All around we will find wicked people who are pretenders, deceivers and deceived. We will not be discouraged or defeated if we rely on what we have learned from our infancy. We have come to know that the Sacred Scriptures are capable of giving us wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus, who is the Wisdom of the Father made flesh and dwelling among us! We need our daily bread of Sacred Scripture so that we can teach, refute, and correct. We need to do lectio divina daily so that we can be competent, equipped for every good work. If this is the way an early apostle of the Apostles had to live, how much more for us who live in the end of days?
The people of God gathered in the Temple area have begun to have their ignorance and blindness healed by the teaching of Jesus. With his fellow believers among the Jewish People, the Lord Jesus assumes that King David is the author of the Psalms and that his writing is inspired. Given these two basic assumptions the Teacher reveals the Anointed One, the Messiah. The crowds hear with great delight this revelation of the Son of David. As Jesus explains: how could the Messiah, the Christ, be the Son of David if in the inspired psalm David, “my lord,” is addressed by “The Lord”? How could The Lord God promise that he would sit at His right hand if he is not also Lord? For our ancestors to proclaim that Jesus is Lord was also to proclaim that the emperor is not Lord. Such a faith proclamation also has political implications. It was dangerous to speak the truth, “Jesus is Lord.” Such danger continues today in our gathering. With our fellow exiles we boldly proclaim, “Jesus is Lord.” Can the demands of any political ideology or social movement make higher claims on our loyalty than does the Lord Jesus? The Incarnate One continues to make present here at the altar of the cross, both the pain and the glory, of those who follow him through the mystery of suffering into the delight of sitting with him at the right hand of the Father. Even in our exile there is joy.