Gospel: Mk 12:28-34
A teacher of the law had been listening to this discussion and admired how Jesus answered them. So he came up and asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?”
Jesus answered, “The first is: Hear, Israel! The Lord, our God, is One Lord; and you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. And after this comes a second commandment: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these two.”
The teacher of the law said to him, “Well spoken, Master; you are right when you say that he is one, and there is no other besides him. To love him with all our heart, with all our understanding and with all our strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves is more important than any burnt offering or sacrifice.”
Jesus approved this answer and said, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.
One thing good about laws is that they make life neat. For those who doesn’t want the hassles of discovering by trial and error what is right and just, spelled out laws that govern once conduct is welcome indeed. Just like the teacher of the law of our gospel today who validates with Jesus what right living is, with reference to the law of course. And Jesus did not disappoint. He met him where he is at that moment. Jesus quoted from their holy book what a just man is supposed to do. But being an expert of the Torah himself, the teacher of the law desired to have more. There is a glimmer of insight in his eyes that is beginning to radiate in all his being. It was his elaboration and personal appropriation of the law that made him close to the kingdom of God.