Thursday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
(II Timothy 2:8-15; Mark 12:28-34)
The Catechism of the Catholic Church judges agnosticism with benign toleration. It admits that agnostics sometimes search sincerely for God although they may refrain from acknowledging God’s existence. The scribe who approaches Jesus in today’s gospel in a way is similar to these agnostics.
Unlike others who have approached Jesus since he has entered Jerusalem, the scribe does not appear to have a hidden agenda. He really wants to know what Jesus, the famous rabbi from Galilee, believes to be the greatest commandment. Jesus not only tells him that to love God is most important but adds that to love one’s neighbor has almost equal urgency. When the scribe accepts what Jesus offers, Jesus tells him that he is not far from God’s kingdom. He is not there yet because being in the kingdom is a matter of living love not just talking about it.
We will find God when we search for Him in loving our neighbors. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that God finds us as we deny ourselves for the sake of others. He eases our consciences and gives rest to our hearts so that we feel His mercy.