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Step Right In

You shall love the Lord your God ... You shall love your neighbor
Mark 12:28-34

Sermon Topic Love

Sermon Week Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 12:30,31

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There is a wonderful story about Queen Victoria on a visit to "Balmoral," her castle on the River Dee in Scotland. It was on a weekend, and she spent all day Sunday being rowed around the river. A pious woman who saw this happening was horrified. She said to her minister, "Isn't that dreadful!" "What's dreadful?" the minister asked. She said, "The queen's rowing on the river on the Sabbath!" The minister said, "But you must remember that Jesus was on the Sea of Galilee on the Sabbath." The woman drew herself up and said indignantly, "Two wrongs don't make a right."

"Come unto me all you who labor and are heavy laden." How we have misinterpreted this word of Jesus! We think it has to do with our work down at the office or around the house. But Jesus was talking about the burden of living negatively: grimly going about the duty of obeying the Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount in order to earn God's love. Jesus wants us to realize that God wants to give us the gift of His life. It is not for sale and we cannot earn it. Ours is to accept it. And once we have accepted the gift of God's love, the Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount take on a whole new positive meaning in our lives. And we obey, not out of a grim sense of obligation, but in the spirit of joy!

Legend has it that back in the time of Jesus, a young divinity student went to the second most famous Rabbi in Jerusalem with a problem. He said that the 667 Old Testament laws were too confusing for him. "Can't you give me a summary of the law in the time that I can stand on one foot?" he asked. The Rabbi picked up a big stick, started beating the young man with it and finally chased him out his study. The Rabbi considered the young man's question as an act of impertinence. He had spent his whole life studying and interpreting these hundreds of [...]

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