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Thy Kingdom Come!

You are not far from the Kingdom of God
Mark 12:28-34

Sermon Topic Compassion

Sermon Week Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 12:34


A Sunday School teacher was talking to a class of five-and-six-year-olds about the Ten Commandments. Can you give me a Commandment with only four words?" she asked. "I know," said a little girl: "Keep off the grass." The discussion turned to family love and the teacher brought in the Commandment, "Honor thy father and thy mother." Then she asked, "What about a Commandment that tells us how to treat our brothers and sisters?" A little boy who had five brothers and sisters was quick to answer: "I know," he said, "Thou shalt not kill." When the class ended, two of the boys began to poke each other. The teacher intervened saying, "Didn't we just finish talking about the Golden Rule?" to which one of the little combatants replied, "Yes but he did it unto me first."

In today's Gospel Lesson, as Jesus is walking in the area of the Temple, He is confronted by one of the Scribes. The Scribes were an elite group of men, learned in the Jewish Law, who opposed Jesus throughout His ministry. They regarded Jesus as a threat to their authority; they branded Him as a law-breaker; they questioned His motives when He reached out to social outcasts; and, eventually, they took part in the conspiracy to crucify Him. The Scribe proceeds to ask Jesus a direct question: "Which commandment is the first of all?" Jesus answers, "The first is, "Hear, O Israel: the Lord God is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength." Then Jesus said, "The second is this, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these" (Mk. 12:39-31). To which the Scribe replied, "you are right, Teacher."

Whatever the Scribe's motive was for questioning Jesus, there was no possibility of challenging Jesus' answer, Love of God and neighbor was the first priority in the Law. "And when Jesus saw that the Scribe had answered wisely, He said to Him, 'You are not far from the Kingdom of God'" (Mk. [...]

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