Do I Think I Know Everything About God and my Faith?


Today’s Gospel: Mark 12:28-34

ScribeThis 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 scribe1when 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.

Ponder:

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?

Pray:

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.

9 thoughts on “Do I Think I Know Everything About God and my Faith?

  1. Wow, I needed this. This was so my heart when I was studying the Catholic faith and discovering it for the first time (though I had been around it my whole life). But your post illuminates my heart again, and it needs more humility…less pride. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Melanie,
    Salvation was never about knowledge. It was always about returning back to the presence of God however they were always the same preconditions! [Mathew5:8] “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” The HEART however is ill begotten from sin and in need of therapy. [Matthew 15-19] “FOR OUT OF THE HEART PROCEED EVIL THOUGHTS MURDERS ADULTERIES FORNICATIONS THEFTS FALSE WITNESS BLASPHEMIES”
    Furthermore passions are know to siege the heart (self will) and force the mind (body) in the un natural act of sin.
    What are passions
    Passions are known to “live” in the heart “which is the center of man psychosomatic self” and take over the mind. They are known to come forth and reveal (manifest) their selves as sins. Vainglory Selfishness Envy Hatred Lustfulness Gluttony Stinginess Greed are only a few passions that imprison -self will- and compel (force) the mind (body) to the un natural act of sin. While a sin can be described as a -single fall- or a specific violation of the moral law a passion describes -a rooted situation of evilness- it is the take over of a soul by a moral illness. Sin becomes then the –ruler- of the soul. When this happens, the soul becomes incapable to react.
    The creation of His Church by the apostles 2000 years ago was centered in enabling Lord Jesus to be present in his Church as High priest and Mediator to his Father for the pardon of sin enabling man to accept God (the Holy Spirit) with in a condition known as being Holy, Sainthood, New Adam, Eternal Life.
    [1 Corinthians 3 :16] Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and who was given to you by God”? Becoming the Temple of the Holy Spirit is the reason why a Saint is described as a new creation. This is how Paul describes this ‘new creation’ condition from his personal experience. (Gal 2:20) “So that it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me” Paul admits that God (Christ) lives in him, making him this way – part man and part god- a god-man by His Grace, a way of being never seen on heaven or earth before. (Galatians 6:15) “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature”. So the heavenly Kingdom is NOT a “place” it is “a way of being” a UNION of man with God Creator Himself, begotten and experienced from this here life. (Luke 17:21) No one will say, “Look here it is”! Or, “There it is!” because the Kingdom of God is within you”. This is how the Apostles and the Saints did/do their miracles…it is not man that does them it is the God (Holy Spirit) within!
    Allow me to embrace you Melanie with brotherly love and disagree with you about all of us being in the same boat. The Church created by the Apostles is still here unchanged and it has been producing Saints non stop from the very begging. The purpose of life an Orthodox Monk on Mount Athos is not the learning of spiritual Truths but the preparation (cleansing of the heart) that will enable them back to the presence of the Creator Triad God! From the very beginning of the creation of His Church the words “knowing you” always meant “knowing you PERSONALLY” and not in any other philosophical way (John 17:3) “And eternal life means knowing you, the only true God, and knowing Jesus Christ, whom you send”
    This is exactly why the experience during contact with Divine Light makes up the very base of Orthodox theology.
    The vision of Divine Light
    http://www.monachos.net/content/patristics/studies-fathers/67
    Paisios, a contemporary Saint in the 20 century…

    God bless
    Constantinos JW

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Melanie

    The Holy mysteries or Sacraments in the Orthodox Church are vessels of the mystical participation in Divine Grace of mankind. In a general sense, the Orthodox Church considers everything which is in and of the Church as sacramental or mystical.
    The sacraments, like the Church, are both visible and invisible. In every sacrament there is a combination of an outward visible sign with an inward spiritual grace. The sacraments are personal — they are the means whereby God’s grace is appropriated to each individual Christian. In most of the sacraments, the priest mentions the Christian name of each person as he administers the sacrament. The Holy Sacrament are also known as Mysteries. In Baptism for instance man in united with Christ! [Galatians 3:27] “You were baptized into union with Christ, and now you are clothed, with the life of Christ himself” We (the Church) we do not know how the Holy Spirit does this…it is a Mystery to us! [A Kor. 4:1] LET a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God

    http://orthodoxwiki.org/Holy_Mysteries

    Liked by 1 person

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