(Mk 12: 28-34)
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.”
The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
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.
One thing good about laws is that they make life neat. For those who doesn’t want the hassles of discovering by trial and error what is right and just, spelled out laws that govern once conduct is welcome indeed. Just like the teacher of the law of our gospel today who validates with Jesus what right living is, with reference to the law of course. And Jesus did not disappoint. He met him where he is at that moment. Jesus quoted from their holy book what a just man is supposed to do. But being an expert of the Torah himself, the teacher of the law desired to have more. There is a glimmer of insight in his eyes that is beginning to radiate in all his being. It was his elaboration and personal appropriation of the law that made him close to the kingdom of God.
Daily Gospel 2017