On the humanity of Jesus Christ

By Dr. Jeff Mirus ( bioarticlesemail ) | Dec 30, 2021

Psalm 110 is used with some frequency in the Liturgy of the Hours at Evening Prayer, and I have always stumbled over its final verse. Here is the text from the RSV-CE (verse 6 is not included in Evening Prayer):

1The LORD says to my lord:
“Sit at my right hand,
till I make your enemies your footstool.”
2The LORD sends forth from Zion
your mighty scepter.
Rule in the midst of your foes!
3Your people will offer themselves freely
on the day you lead your host
upon the holy mountains.
From the womb of the morning
like dew your youth will come to you.
4The LORD has sworn
and will not change his mind,
“You are a priest for ever
after the order of Melchiz’edek.”
5The Lord is at your right hand;
he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath.
6He will execute judgment among the nations,
filling them with corpses;
he will shatter chiefs
over the wide earth.
7He will drink from the brook by the way;
therefore he will lift up his head.

One understands why verse 6 is not used in the Breviary; the clergy need not dwell, while in this world, on filling the earth with corpses. This refers at once to God’s intervention on behalf of His Chosen People and, presumably, to the Last Judgment, and it is mercy that ought to be the main focus of the Church. But what could it possibly mean that the Lord “will drink from the brook by the way; therefore he will life up his head”?


Many commentators have seen in this verse the single-minded focus on the victory of justice by Christ, who does not rest in a life of ease but rather takes only the minimal necessary refreshment without ceasing His pursuit of His enemies. The verse becomes, then, a description of the rigors of warfare for those who have a seriousness that ensures ultimate victory. The Lord, at the right hand of the Father, will neither falter nor fail in the execution of judgment upon His enemies.

For all I know, this exclusively martial interpretation may be both true and complete, but it has never struck me as sufficiently comprehensive of the psalm as a whole. This interpretation would seem to fit the context of verses 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6, but it leaves out of its reckoning the surprising verse at the very center of the psalm, “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest for ever according to the order of Melchizedek’.” And this priestly verse calls to mind a key to the understanding of Jesus Christ: He is the sole permanent and universal high priest—a man who can offer once and for all an unfailing and infinitely pure and comprehensive sacrifice for sin.

To me, the phrase “therefore he will lift up his head” implies not merely victory but worthiness of victory. The one who can “lift” or “hold” up his head is the one who has no cause for shame. The last verse of Psalm 110 seems to say that Our Lord, so often described in the Psalms in terms of his rejection, disfigurement and passion, will now be able to “lift up his head” precisely because he will have drunk “from the brook by the way”.

And what has He drunk? This mighty Lord, this priest forever, this Jesus Christ has drunk to the dregs the cup of His human passion. For as Psalm 22 says so clearly, he was “scorned by men, and despised by the people”. And again: “All who see me mock at me, they make mouths at me, they wag their heads” (vv. 6-8). Six verses further on, He says: “I am poured out like water” (v. 14). Much later, in the Garden of Gethsemane, He prays: “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Mt 26:39). Surely, in many layered senses, it is this Lord who has drunk from the brook along the way.

Human righteousness

Now of course we see in all this the same interplay between blood and water that we see when Christ’s side was pierced, but here I am soaring above and beyond the text of Psalm 110: “He will drink from the brook by the way; therefore he will lift up his head.” Nonetheless, the word “therefore” is pregnant with meaning for the Son of God who has become man. Might it not be reasonable to interpret “He will drink from the brook by the way” as a concrete image of the stupendous reality of the Incarnation? Is it not Christ alone who, precisely in becoming man, “drinks from the brook by the way” just as all of us do, and just as God (without the Incarnation) does not? Might this not be a statement about the very humanity of our Savior who has in fact become the form, model and reality of the perfect man?

St. Paul wrote to the Ephesians that we must all “build up the body of Christ, till we become one in faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, and form that perfect man who is Christ come to full stature” (4:12-13). Or, as another translation expresses it: “until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” And to the Romans Paul explained: “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous” (5:19).

Given this entire context, I personally see in the Psalm verse in question—“He will drink from the brook by the way; therefore he will lift up his head”—a strong hint that in becoming man, Our Lord has in effect earned the right to hold up his head in what then becomes, unmistakably, a perfectly appropriate and perfectly just victory over His enemies. He has walked the walk. He has drunk by the stream by the wayside as only a man can and must do. And when he lifts up his head, so too does he lift up ours.

Am I correct that this is the meaning of verse 7 in Psalm 110? The Church has not said so. But I write this on December 30, 2021, during the octave of the Nativity of the Lord, and one thing is sure: This is both the meaning and the promise of Christmas.

Knowing Your Strengths

By Robert Dilenschneider

Ideas shared have the power to expand perspectives, change thinking, and move lives. Here are two ideas for the curious mind to engage with:

“By knowing your strengths and building on them in a hypercompetitive world, we can be more effective. You need to learn how to block out your weaknesses, prune them, and drive steadily from your strengths. That takes an enormous amount of discipline.”

Constitutional expert wonders if FBI will raid New York Times

Decisions appear to be based on ‘political orientation of the publication’

A constitutional expert is openly wondering when the FBI will “raid the home of New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger,” after that federal agency conducted a smash and grab operation at the home of Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe.

“Both publications were given stolen or abandoned confidential material,” explained Jonathan Turley, a prominent commentator on legal issues.

“The difference in response appears based on source of the material and the political orientation of the publication. Ashley Biden’s diary was deemed a federal issue of such importance that the administration conducted highly intrusive searches and seizures targeting a publisher. Conversely, the New York Times obtained core attorney-client material that was unlawfully taken from Project Veritas.”

The controversy has been developing for months. Ashley Biden, Joe Biden’s daughter, apparently left behind a diary when she moved out of a friend’s home. A subsequent roommate reportedly found it, and it ended up in the hands of Project Veritas, known for its undercover reporting on leftist scandals. That group didn’t use it, but turned it over to police.

Reports have suggested that she referred to “inappropriate” showers with her father, and she also allegedly asked herself, “Have I been abused?” and answered “I think so.”

One result is that the FBI raided the home of O’Keefe and several others associated with Project Veritas.

The move was criticized even by the American Civil Liberties Union, which typically is on the opposite end of the political spectrum from Project Veritas.

The FBI’s actions were described by the organization as a threat to all journalists.

“The precedent set in this case could have serious consequences for press freedom,” warned Brian Hauss, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project.

So Turley raised the question, since O’Keefe was raided for his involvement in the diary episode, should not Sulzberger be raided for his organization’s receipt of confidential legal material that belonged to Project Veritas in the case?

A judge ruled just days ago that the Times had to return Project Veritas’ property, and an appeals court has halted that decision temporarily.

Turley explained he has concerns about such “prior restraint.”

“That issue will be now be addressed in the courts. One question, however, remains: when will the FBI raid the home of New York Times publisher, A.G. Sulzberger?” he wondered.

“That is what the Justice Department did when Project Veritas was given the diary of President Joe Biden’s daughter, Ashley – the subject of the New York Times story. They raided the home and seized the confidential communications of the founder of Project Veritas, James O’Keefe, as well as others associated with this publication.”

Turley said the material obtained by the Times appears to be a discussion of what is allowed under the law.

“So the New York Times wants to publish the legal advice given to another publication on how to stay ‘on the right side’ of federal laws. There is no concern how such reporting undermines the ability of reporters and lawyers to work in this field. In decades as a legal commentator, law professor, and lawyer in this area, I have never seen such an intrusion into this area of confidential communications of a news organization by another news organization,” he wrote.

“Putting aside the horrendous judgment of the New York Times, the story returns us to the glaring contradiction with the Ashley Biden story. While one could debate the news value of the legal memos, the contents of the diary would be considered newsworthy under current torts standards governing civil liability. Like her brother Hunter, Ashley has struggled with addiction and the diary recounts that struggle of someone who would constitute a ‘public figure’ under defamation law,” he noted.

He noted the difference in the materials, too. The diary was abandoned, while the legal memos the Times obtained were marked confidential.

“If opposing counsel were ever given such material in litigation, a court would order the return of the material,” he said.

“The many questions in these cases should be answered by both the Justice Department and the media. For the FBI, the concern is whether it is now acting like a type of Praetorian Guard for the First Family. For the media, the concern is that some outlets are now acting like a type of state media for the Biden administration,” he said.

What is Radical Writing in Visual Studies?

James Elkins

From its North American beginnings in the late 1980s, its German beginnings in
the 1970s, and its prehistory, going back to Derrida, Benjamin, and before, visual
studies has taken as part of its mission the breaking of disciplinary boundaries.
Visual studies has always pictured itself questioning conceptual domains and
hegemonic identities, inhabiting margins, rethinking received ideas of cultural
inquiry, identity, and place. Refraction, the theme of this issue, is one such
boundary formation.

Especially in its prewar incarnations as visuelle Kultur, visual studies had
broken with art history in its interest in film and photography, and later in
animation, gaming, advertising, the digital, and alternative media. And yet one of
the founders of visual culture studies, Michael Holly, was wistful and perhaps a
little regretful when she remembered the original promises visual studies had made
to itself in Rochester in the 1980s, in comparison with the discipline it became.
(This is in the book Farewell to Visual Studies.)

Visual studies had promised itself the
daring juxtaposition of previously unstudied theoretical methods with previously
unstudied art practices from all times and cultures, but it had solidified into a
definable academic practice centered on contemporary firstworld visual
production, a reasonably predictable roster of theorists, and a consistent politics.
Holly herself decamped to a position at the Clark, at the very center of a
disciplinary allegiance that the founders of visual studies had avoided

The Mystery of the 7th Day


A 7 Day Week?

The Jewish week was established at the time of creation as a seven-day cycle. Today we take this for granted, but the idea that humans should organize and track their time around seven days was not always universally accepted. Six and ten-day weeks can be found in several ancient cultures. Moreover, in the Israelite/Jewish week, the days, instead of being named, are simply numbered. Only the seventh day has been privileged to have its own name שַׁבָּת (Shabbat) – the Sabbath.

The Creation Story: Autumn Ward, Joseph Goode, Joseph Goode: 9781941259733:  Amazon.com: Books

Discover the Mysteries of the Scriptures

The word שַׁבָּת (Shabbat) comes from the creation story when God rested on the seventh day after six days of work (Genesis 2:1-3). In Hebrew, the word Shabbat means “resting”. God blessed that day, and it has been holy ever since. Just as “Shabbat” has a deeper meaning in Hebrew, gain from reading the Bible in the original language. Enroll today in our live, online Biblical Hebrew course and discover the mysteries of the Scriptures.

%d bloggers like this: