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Where Did They Bury The Sinners?

Which is the first of all the commandments?

Deuteronomy 6:2-6; Psalm 18:2-4,47,51; Hebrews 7:23-28; Mark 12:28-34

Sermon Week Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 12:28

Former late-night host and comedian David Letterman once offered this tip to anyone planning a visit to New York City. He advised, “If you’re planning to travel to the City, do yourself a favor — this is a lot of fun. Check into a Times Square hotel. Take the Bible out of the nightstand, (if it hasn’t already been stolen) and open it up to the Ten Commandments. Next, go to the window, and on a good day you can check the commandments off as you see them being broken.

The truth is we could pick just about any big city, political convention or corporate boardroom and get the very same laugh — for the sins of man know no bounds. The truth is the original sin of humankind, and the original sin of every one of us is the refusal to trust God to show us the way and give us the means of fulfillment. The truth is the original sin of humankind, and every one of us is the conscious decision to do it “our way.”

In today's Gospel Lesson Jesus is walking in the Temple area, and various Chief Priests, Elders, Pharisees, and Scribes approach Him with questions designed to entrap Him. One such encounter is with a Scribe. The Jewish Community highly respected the Scribes because of their superior knowledge of the religious law and their ability to interpret it for the people. Most Scribes were also Pharisees. They insisted on strict observance of the law, down to the last detail. Jesus had been teaching that it was the "spirit" rather than the "letter" of the law that mattered. Consequently, the Scribes saw Him as a threat to their authority. They questioned His authority to teach in God's name. They called Him a blasphemer. They charged Him as a law-breaker when He placed human values above strict adherence to oppressive laws. They found fault with His friendly attitude toward public sinners. They said He was in league with the devil. They plotted His execution. They were members of the arresting party and were present at his [...]

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