Thursday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
(Tobit, 6:10-11.7:1bcde.9-17.8:4-9a; Mark 12:28-34)
The gospels of yesterday and Tuesday told of Jesus’ rivals trying to discredit him. First, the Pharisees and then the Sadducees ask Jesus questions whose answers should compromise his authority. Jesus, however, smells foul play and deftly frustrates his opponents. Today a scribe asks Jesus a question in an honest search for wisdom. He is rewarded with the roadmap to eternal life.
When Jesus says that the first commandment is to love God with all one’s power, he means that we are to love him more than anyone or anything. We are to desire His presence, to think about Him day and night, and to sacrifice ourselves for His benefit. It is considerable quest in a world with many side attractions. But it promises us the greatest prize there is – the Kingdom of God.
Jesus tells the scribe, “’You are not far from the kingdom.’” He means that the scribe now knows the way to true happiness. When he follows that way by loving God above all and his neighbor as well, he will have entered the Kingdom.