Readings for Friday March 12, 2010
First Reading: Hosea 14:2-10
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 81
Gospel: Mark 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. (Mk 12:28-34)
Imagine that you are the scribe in today's gospel reading, and Jesus Himself says to you, "You are not far from the Kingdom of God", tell me how would this make you feel? I don't know about you, but to hear the Messiah, the Savior of the World, God in the Flesh to say that you are not far from the Kingdom would just certainly make my day ... in fact it would make my life! I wonder if this scribe had a clue as to how special, and how important that moment was for him.
In today's gospel, we see that that particular scribe was affirmed in his understanding of what Jesus had said was the greatest commandment. Think about what actually took place in this reading, we see the scribe ask Jesus what the greatest commandment is, then he listened Jesus' answer, and then he understood the answer given by Jesus. By doing these things, asking, listening, and understanding; Jesus told him that he is not far from the Kingdom, meaning he isn't that far from God. If you think about it, the steps taken by the scribe are very simple ones, asking, listening, and understanding.
In our own journey with God, are we following all the steps that the scribe did? Do we ask God the right questions? Do we simply ask for things, or do we ask for wisdom and understanding that can only come from Him? After we ask, are we listening to what God has to say? I imagine that this is the step that most people skip, and naturally since we are not listening to God, then there can be no way to understand what God is saying to us. These steps while very simple, are in a natural order, because they are meant to bring about growth and wisdom by forming a relationship with God. It is by asking, listening, and understanding God through faith and prayer that we can become the men and women that God created us to be.
May we all seek the wisdom that comes from the Lord by asking, listening, and understanding.
Father above we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, help us to know you better, help open our eyes and hearts to you. Help us to see you in everything that we do, and to know and believe that you are truly present with us every moment. Lord, we place all of our faith and our trust in you, for you are the rock of our faith. Lord, we love you, please always keep us close to you and in our loving arms at all times. We ask this all through Christ our Lord, Amen.