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One Step Removed

**The scribe said to Him: Yes, to love Him withour heart,all ourthoughtsallOeour neighbor as ourselves is worth more than any burnt offering or sacrifice. Jesus approved the insight of this answer & told him you are not far from the reign of God.
Mark 12:28-34

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Sermon Week Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 12:32,33,34


Most people are aware of the medical evidence on the health hazards of cigarette smoking. Yet, imagine a heavy smoker with a severe respiratory problem saying to his doctor, "I know that cigarettes are affecting my good health and therefore I should quit smoking." Suppose the doctor replies, "You are not far from the reign of health." What does he mean? His reply conveys the same message as the one given to the patient who asked, "What is the best exercise for keeping fit?" "The best exercise," the doctor answered, "is the one that you do." In both instances, a distinction is made between knowing what to do and doing it. What good is wisdom not applied? What good is knowledge not put into practice? Knowing that two aspirin tablets will relieve your headache is still one step removed from feeling better. Knowing that your mortgage payment is due is still one step removed from keeping your account current. Knowing that the dirty dishes are piling up is still one step removed from an empty sink. Knowing that someone is in need of your compassion and forgiveness is still one step removed from reconciliation.

Knowledge, then, is not the end-all of human experience. Knowledge functions as means to an end. It points the way. It opens doors. But knowing the way is a useless piece of knowledge until we embark on that way. The open door might as well be closed if we remain standing at the threshold. Thus, Jesus says, "None of those who cry out, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the Kingdom of God but only the one who does the Will of My Father in heaven" (Mt.7:21). There is a real distinction to be made between faith professed and faith lived, between knowing God's Will and doing it, between receiving God's Word and acting on it

If today's Gospel Story had been recorded by Jesus rather than Mark, He might have begun by saying, "A funny thing happened on My way to the Temple." It all began as Jesus was walking in the Temple area and various Chief [...]

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