One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
“Which is the first of all the commandments?”
Jesus replied, “The first is this:
‘Hear, O Israel!
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.’
There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mk 12:28-31)
Never one to doubt Jesus’ words, I truly think He hit the nail squarely on the head in this discourse with the scribe. And the scribe knew it as well, for he told Jesus that He was absolutely correct.
This is truly phenomenal since the scribe’s job, if you will, was to trip Jesus up and trap Him in His words.
But Jesus’ pure and simple answer could not be refuted.
The scribe agreed that to love the Lord our God above all else and to love our neighbor as our self was more important than any other commandment because any of the other commandments would have been based upon those two laws, those two realities.
Jesus’ response to the scribe, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God”, shut down anyone else who may have been primed to speak next.
Not only was Jesus untrappable, He appeared to be unstoppable. We know that, eventually, they would find a way to try Him, convict Him, condemn Him, and crucify Him.
Yet, even in His trial and death, He was still living out those two basic commands. He was loving His Father with His entire being and loving everyone else with the same love.
Loving them so much, that He was willing to die on the cross for them.
FAITH ACTION: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind. You shall also love your neighbor as yourself. Do something for your “neighbor” whom you may tend to ignore, be that person an actual neighbor, a co-worker, or a family member. Remember, we are all one family.
Remember, the Fridays of Lent are Days of Abstinence.