9th Friday in Ordinary Time
Tobit 11: 5 – 17; Ps 146; Mark 12: 35 – 37
St. Paul wrote to Timothy: “All Scripture is inspired of God and useful for teaching – for reproof, correction and training in holiness – so that the man/woman of God may be fully competent and equipped for any good work.” (2 Tim 3: 16)
All Scripture is inspired and therefore, the Psalms we chant each day are useful for teaching, for training in holiness. The poetry of the Psalms, these human cries for help, for mercy, these prayers of praise are truly a gift from God for our training in holiness, for the grace to do good works.
Psalm 146 is the responsorial Psalm for our Mass today and in this inspired prayer the psalmist shares something from his heart based on experience. He speaks of the mystery of God. The rabbis in their commentary on this Psalm hold that it proclaims eleven names for God; all eleven names have this in common: God’s name is always an action of love and mercy.
The Lord keeps faith forever, secures justice for the oppressed
Gives food to the hungry, sets captives free, gives sight to the blind
Raised up those who are bowed down, loves the just, protects strangers
The fatherless and the widow he sustains
The way of the wicked he thwarts
The Lord shall reign forever, your God, O Zion, through all generations.
In every one of these professions of faith, God is identified with people; He is not seen or experienced as apart from his people in all their circumstances, trials, needs.
Surely there is an invitation in this inspired prayer for each of us for our training in holiness. How do I, how do you name God? Not a name from a textbook – rather from the graced experience of my life of faith? Who is God for you, for me personally?