Memory of Jesus crucified

Deel Op


Reading of the Word of God

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Mark 12,28-34

One of the scribes who had listened to them debating appreciated that Jesus had given a good answer and put a further question to him, 'Which is the first of all the commandments?' 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.

 

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

This passage from Mark's Gospel is situated within the context of Jesus' ministry in Jerusalem. Amid the growing threat of the hostility of the leaders of the people comes a sincere request made by a scribe who turns to Jesus and asks, "Which commandment is the first of all?" In general scribes were very knowledgeable of the Law. This time the scribe came up to the Teacher not to put him to the test, but to learn a teaching from him that he considered important for his life. He was a wise scribe for no one can teach to oneself. We all need to ask the Lord the true meaning of Scripture for our lives. Unfortunately, we easily forget to listen to Scripture or to gather in prayer, thinking we already know what to do and how to live. But when we do that, we become victims of the sin of self-sufficiency. We think we can do without God and his word. Today this scribe stands before us and speaks to Jesus on our behalf, too. Let us ask Jesus, "Teacher, what is the heart of the Gospel?" And Jesus tells us too that the "first commandment" is twofold: love God and love our neighbour. These two loves cannot be separated. Indeed, they form one love, one thing. The apostle John writes, "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). Jesus, who loved God above everything else, more than his own life, and who equally loved men and women above everything, more than his own life, offers us the highest example of observing the "first" commandment. Which, in fact, is the only commandment. It is true that the double commandment is preceded by an invitation, which is its introduction: "The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel!'" Once again, we see before us what we have been reading about over the past few days, which is constantly proposed to us during the Lenten season: the necessity of listening to God who speaks to us. Those who do not listen to him will only hear their own noise and will not be able to fully live out the commandment of love. Only those who listen to the Gospel, as Mary did, will be able to live out in full the strength of faith. Satisfied with Jesus' answer, that scribe hears that he is not far from the kingdom of God. We have much more than that scribe. Let us at least learn from him how to be willing to ask and how to be ready to answer.