Today we are reading from Mark 12: 28-34:
28 One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30 you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that ‘he is one, and besides him there is no other’; 33 and ‘to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’—this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that no one dared to ask him any question.
After two days of religious leaders trying to trip up Jesus, today we see one paying attention. This leader realizes that what Jesus is saying is true, and Jesus sees that he is trying to learn. So, this leader, Jesus tells him, yeah, you’re almost there.
The man realized that Jesus is speaking the truth. And Jesus realizes that his seeking the truth. We see today what is most important.
Jesus tells us that loving God and loving neighbor (and by the way, these are both Old Testament quotes) these commands are of more importance than any burnt offering. The truest act of devotion or worship to our God is this – to love Him with all that we are and to love our neighbor as ourselves. This is what is most important.
More important than getting everything right.
More important than being in church every day.
More important than serving on every committee or doing everything that we think we ought to be doing.
(By the way, these are important, though! Come to church. And serve on the committees I ask you to serve on! LOL).
But they are not the most important. Today Jesus tells us what is most important. Love God. Love neighbor. That’s it. So, today, let’s pray for the grace to do just that. To love our God with all that we are and love our neighbor with all that we are.
Let’s work on that. According to Jesus, that’s the most important.
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