1 John 4:11-18 + Psalm 72 + Mark 6:45-52
January 9, 2013
“Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.” [Psalm 72:11]
In his account of the “Wise Men from the East” who visit the Holy Family and present gifts to the baby Jesus, St. Matthew the Evangelist alludes to today’s Responsorial Psalm. In fact, the same psalm was proclaimed this past Sunday on the Solemnity of the Epiphany, and out of the six “weekday Masses” this year between the Epiphany and the Baptism of the Lord, three of them proclaim this same Psalm 72 for their Responsorial.
We might first think that the connection between Psalm 72 and the Epiphany is the psalm’s reference to kings bringing “tribute” and “gifts” to the king of Israel. But that would be putting the cart before the horse. The larger truth to which this psalm points is the universality of the king of Israel’s reign, and through this, the reign of Christ the King.
On the more practical level of your own spiritual life, the universality of Jesus’ kingdom might provoke certain questions for reflection. “Do I ever consider anyone outside the reach of God’s love? Would I be happy for some particular person to be excluded by God from His merciful embrace? Do I forgive those who trespass against me in the same way that I hope the Father will forgive me?”