Delightful Repartee

Greetings on this the Friday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Tb 11:5-17; PS 146:1b-2, 6c-7, 8-9a, 9bc-10; Mk 12:35-37

Note: If you are unable to allocate the time to read the sacred Novella of the Book of Tobit, here is a summary: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/tobit/0

First reading
In our first reading today there is a subtext worth exploring.
Nineveh.

You may remember Nineveh from the book of Jonah. Jonah was not at all interested in helping the people of Nineveh repent and escape the wrath of their actions. But the Lord prevailed over Jonah and he completed his mission and saving a city. Actually saving an entire nation, the Assyrian empire. A rather startling account given the ferocious attack on the Northern Kingdom, and the destruction of Jerusalem by their army in 701 BCE.

Tobit’s location is set in this exile, living among the captives deported to Nineveh from the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 722/721 B.C.

So there is a subtext in the scripture that reads:
Tobit and Anna rejoiced
and went out to the gate of Nineveh
to meet their daughter-in-law.
When the people of Nineveh saw Tobit walking along briskly,
with no one leading him by the hand, they were amazed.
Before them all Tobit proclaimed
how God had mercifully restored sight to his eyes.

That day there was joy for all the Jews who lived in Nineveh.

Even while in exile:

  • protection from demons.
  • miraculous healing.
  • witnessing to the power and concern of a loving God.
  • family rejoicing.

Divine repartee is delightful indeed.
Even the Assyrians, all the people of Nineveh were amazed, even delighted for Tobit and Tobiah.

Note: If you want more of the same, just read chapter 1, only 22 verses. The irony is meant to be entertaining amidst the difficulty of oppression!

Responsorial Psalm
Praise the Lord, my soul!
The LORD keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.

Alleluia Verse
Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him
and we will come to him.

Gospel Portion
As Jesus was teaching in the temple area he said:
David himself calls him ‘lord’;
so how is he (the Messiah to come) his son?”
The great crowd heard this with delight.

Power and less Power
No matter how people with power can lord it over you, it is the Lord who is Lord.

Matthew 20:25-28
Jesus summoned them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Knowing

  • We can know what are senses tell us.
  • We can know by studying literature including sacred Scripture.
  • We can know by way of math, science and the arts.
  • We can know by way of having power over others.

But we can also know by knowing there is so much more to know and especially in a caring Lord who doesn’t LORD over us but tends to us even in the midst of the most difficult of circumstances.

You know?

The great crowd heard this with delight.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

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