Sermon Topic Commandments
Sermon Week Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time
Scripture Summary Mark 12:29,31
Many years ago, on the busiest block of the main street in a small, midwestern town, a smooth cement sidewalk was laid to replace the old, worn and rough brick walk. When the masons had completed their work, they covered the newly laid cement for several days while it dried out. A little civic ceremony was arranged to celebrate the uncovering and most of the townspeople turned out for the event. The mayor stepped up to do the honors and, as he rolled up the covering to expose the new sidewalk, a strange silence came over the crowd. Then, suddenly, it seemed that, without exception, everyone present was smiling tenderly, some with tears rolling down their cheeks. For, there on the new sidewalk, for the length of the whole block, they saw the tiny prints of a barefoot toddling baby. Today, those footprints are still there. And anyone in town will tell you that never has a heavy heart passed down that street without being cheered up by the sight of those baby footprints; never has a desperate soul passed down that street without deriving some degree of hope from the sight of those baby footprints.
Whether we realize it or not, we must leave footprints. Whether we will it or not, wherever we go and whatever we do, we are always leaving footprints. It may be in a tender word of kindness or it may be in a thoughtless gesture of indifference, but each tiny act is making its imprint on the hearts of those with whom we come in contact. A single loving act may grow forever as a golden imprint in the heart of the other. And a single display of arrogance may further crush an already embittered, downtrodden soul. And, for the most part, we are as unconscious as that toddling baby of the far-reaching effects of our everyday acts.
In today's Gospel Lesson, one of the Jewish religious leaders asks Jesus this question: "Which commandment is the first of all?" (Mk. 12:28). In other words, "What is God's Will for the way we live?" He [...]