Today’s Gospel: Mark 12:28-34
This passage is a unique exchange between one of the scribes and Jesus. This particular scribe is not out to ensnare Jesus but approaches Him with an open, honest, and extremely intelligent mind. Jesus is actually impressed by this man’s insights and intuitive understanding of the Word of God; even though He does not give the man a traditional, rote answer, the scribe agrees and even expands on Christ’s answer with further insights that are in keeping with the spirit of Jesus’s own, new spirituality.
The scribe asks, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replies, quoting from the Old Testament:
“The first is this: The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Now Jesus has added a second commandment to the traditional, Old Testament command. However, the scribe is not offended but becomes excited as he agrees with Christ’s addition, and then he adds a third comment which completely encapsulates Christ’s message, the New Testament concept of mercy:
“Well said, teacher. He is One and there is no other than he. And to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding, he said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And no one dared to ask him any more questions. Christ is impressed by this scribe.
Do I study scripture with an open, humble mind, ready for the Spirit to reveal new insights, or am I closed, thinking that I already know everything about God and my faith?
Grant me a humble, teachable spirit, Lord.
First published on CatholicMom. We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.