Memory of the Church

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.
.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Mark 12,28b-34

Jesus replied, 'This is the first: Listen, Israel, the Lord our God is the one, only Lord, and you must 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 must love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.' The scribe said to him, 'Well spoken, Master; what you have said is true, that he is one and there is no other. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself, this is far more important than any burnt offering or sacrifice.' Jesus, seeing how wisely he had spoken, said, 'You are not far from the kingdom of God.' And after that no one dared to question him any more.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

A scribe, who knows the Law well, comes near and asks Jesus which is the first commandment. This scribe comes to Jesus with a sincere heart, not to put him to the test, but to hear his opinion on a debated question. Wise people know that they cannot be their own teachers. We all need to learn. That is why we continue to ask the Lord to open our minds to the meaning of Scripture. The scribe asks which is the first commandment. And Jesus responds that the "first commandment" asks us to love God and the "second commandment" asks us to love our neighbour. They are two loves, but in reality, they are closely linked to one another. They cannot be separated, to the point that we could say that they are one love. Later the apostle John will write in his first Letter: "Those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen" (1 Jn 4:20). And Paul will see love of neighbour as the fullness of the Law: "Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law" (Rom 13:8). Jesus, who loved God above everything, more than his own life, and who loved men and women above everything, more than his own life, offers us the highest example of the commandment to love: to love God and neighbour with a passion that knows no limits. This scribe, satisfied by Jesus' answer, heard that he was not far from the kingdom of God. We have received much more than that scribe, and yet sometimes we are not satisfied. Instead we remain in our hardness of heart. Let us at least learn from that scribe how to be willing to ask for and ready to receive Jesus' teaching.