Biblical Readings for each day's Mass,
(for the Liturgical Year 2021)

June 4, 2021
Friday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

1st Reading: Tobit 11:5-17

The joyful reunion of Tobias and his parents

Anna was sitting, watching the road by which her son, would come. She was sure at once it must be he and said to the father, 'Here comes your son, with his companion.'

Raphael said to Tobias, before he reached his father, "I know that his eyes will be opened. Smear the gall of the fish on his eyes; the medicine will make the white films shrink and peel off from his eyes, and your father will regain his sight and see the light."

Then Anna ran up to her son and threw her arms around him, saying, "Now that I have seen you, my child, I am ready to die." And she wept. Then Tobit got up and came stumbling out through the courtyard door. Tobias went up to him, with the gall of the fish in his hand, and holding him firmly, he blew into his eyes, saying, "Take courage, father." With this he applied the medicine on his eyes, and it made them smart. Next, with both his hands he peeled off the white films from the corners of his eyes. Then Tobit saw his son and threw his arms around him, and he wept and said to him, "I see you, my son, the light of my eyes." Then he said,

"Blessed be God, and blessed be his great name, and blessed be all his holy angels. May his holy name be blessed throughout all the ages. Though he afflicted me, he has had mercy upon me. Now I see my son Tobias." So Tobit went in rejoicing and praising God at the top of his voice. Tobias reported to his father that his journey had been successful, that he had brought the money, that he had married Raguel's daughter Sarah, and that she was, indeed, on her way there, very near to the gate of Nineveh.

Then Tobit, rejoicing and praising God, went out to meet his daughter-in-law at the gate of Nineveh. When the people of Nineveh saw him coming, walking along in full vigor and with no one leading him, they were amazed. Before them all, Tobit acknowledged that God had been merciful to him and had restored his sight. When Tobit met Sarah the wife of his son Tobias, he blessed her saying, "Come in, my daughter, and welcome. Blessed be your God who has brought you to us, my daughter. Blessed be your father and your mother, blessed be my son Tobias, and blessed be you, my daughter. Come in now to your home, and welcome, with blessing and joy. Come in, my daughter." So on that day there was rejoicing among all the Jews who were in Nineveh.

Responsorial: from Psalm 145

R./: Praise the Lord, my soul

My soul, give praise to the Lord;
 I will praise the Lord all my days,
 make music to my God while I live. (R./)

It is the Lord who keeps faith for ever,
 who is just to those who are oppressed.
It is he who gives bread to the hungry,
 the Lord, who sets prisoners free. (R./)

It is the Lord who gives sight to the blind,
 who raises up those who are bowed down,
 the Lord, who protects the stranger
 and upholds the widow and orphan. (R./)

It is the Lord who loves the just
 but thwarts the path of the wicked.
The Lord will reign for ever,
 Zion's God, from age to age. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 12:35-37

Jesus explains that David was not the Messiah

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.

Nurtured at home

All that one needs to interpret the story of Tobit is an appreciation of family. This is first formed at home and then within one's circle of friends, later echoed by our membership of the church. Paul refers to this family 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 home prepared Timothy for his apostolic ministry.

Such a home setting ought to be reflected in our churches. The Jerusalem temple was called the "house of God." In its Hebrew origins during their exodus from Egypt, their shrine for God was a simple nomad's tent providing a roof for the entire family. Tent-dwelling fostered intimacy, trust and a common sharing of sorrow or joys. The ark of the covenant was first housed in 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 provides a norm for church and temple, and offers a guideline for our interpreting Scripture.

When we turn to today's gospel, we see an instance of religion turned into a business and the temple into a place for controversy. How easily this can happen if church people put more stress on esoteric questions instead of 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).

Son of David

In today's gospel, there is an argument between Jesus and the Jewish scribes about the identity of the long-awaited Jewish Messiah. Jesus is confronting the teaching of the scribes according to which the Messiah will be the son of David. He quotes from one of the psalms to show that Messiah was to be not simply David's son but David's Lord. Although a descendant of David, Jesus, as Messiah, is declaring himself to be David's Lord. In other words, there is more to Israel's Messiah than the scribes appreciate. As the long awaited Messiah, Jesus is Lord, Lord of the Sabbath, Lord of David, Lord of all. One of the great confessions of the early church was, "Jesus is Lord." That was a very striking confession in a Jewish context, because up until the time of Jesus, the title "Lord" was given only to God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the God of Israel. Today's responsorial psalm, a Jewish prayer, declares "My soul, give praise to the Lord", to God. Jesus is Lord of Israel's greatest king, David; he is our Lord, Lord of each one of us, Lord of the church. Our calling is to live our lives under his Lordship, or, to put it in another way, to live as his servants, placing ourselves at the service of his purpose for our world.