08Jun 08 June. Friday of the 9th Week

2 Tim 3:10ff. Remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, and to the inspired and inspiring Scriptures you know so well.

Mark 12:35ff. Jesus silences his critics with a text from the messianic Psalm 110.

Faith from the Home

Our formation comes first of all from the home and then from our circle of friends, later reinforced by membership of the church. Paul refers to this kind of background when writing to Timothy, “From your infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures.” Earlier he refers to the sincere faith “which belonged to your grandmother Lois and to your mother Eunice.” A good rearing at home prepared Timothy for his apostolic ministry.

Such a home setting ought to be reflected in our churches and synagogues. The Jerusalem temple was called the “house of God.” In the Hebrew this word “house” once referred to a nomad’s tent that covered the entire family under one roof. Tent-dwelling required intimacy, trust and a common sharing of sorrow or joys. The first dwelling for the ark of the covenant was such a tent. David was blocked from building a house of cedar and mighty stones, because, God says, “from the day I led the Israelites out of Egypt to the present… I have been going about in a tent” (2 Samuel 7:6). The family home then determines the attitudes for church and temple, and also provides the context for our interpreting Scripture.

When we turn to today’s gospel, the predominant sense is of sorrow and regret. Religion has been turned into a business or profession, and the temple into a place for controversy. How easily this can happen if church people put more stress on such esoteric questions as the timing of the end of the world rather than on the elementary virtues of love, patience, forgiveness, generosity, and prayer.

Jesus refuses to answer the question about the messianic age on the grounds set by the questioners. We may recall another time when, on being asked when the reign of God would come, he replied, “It is not it a matter of reporting that it is ‘here’ or ‘there.’ The reign of God is already in your midst” (Luke 17:21).

First Reading 2 Timothy 3:10-17

Now you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and suffering the things that happened to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. What persecutions I endured! Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. Indeed, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

Wicked people and impostors, however, will go from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.

Gospel: Mark 12:35-37

While Jesus was teaching in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the son of David? David himself, by the Holy Spirit, declared, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.” ‘ David himself calls him Lord; so how can he be his son?” And the large crowd was listening to him with delight.