Daily Gospel Reflection – Friday, March 29

Mark 12:28-34
One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
“Which is the first of all the commandments?”
Jesus replied, “The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your mind,
and with all your strength.
The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these.”
The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
He is One and there is no other than he.
And to love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding,
with all your strength,
and to love your neighbor as yourself
is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
he said to him,
“You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”
And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

In this verse, Jesus is asked what is the first or greatest commandment.  He responds with two separate commandments.  The first is “you shall love your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.  The second is “love your neighbor as yourself.”  The scribe agreed with him.  In those days, many would try to trick or trap Jesus with their questions, but this one was different.

Personally, these two commandments are important; if they are followed, every other rule falls into place.  People who live their lives according to this will see the kingdom of Heaven.  Based on my knowledge of those days, the Jews had many rules and commandments, and these simplified their lives.

By Coach Mike Odenwald, Faculty