“You are not far from the kingdom of God.”
“And no one dared to ask him any more questions” Mark 12:34
Mark’s Gospel today is a journey into the simplicity of a life well lived: Love God with your whole heart, soul, and strength; then love your neighbor as yourself. As Jesus reminds us, there is no other commandment above these.
When a scribe confirmed that these two commandments are even greater than burnt offerings and sacrifices, Jesus saw that the man understood the meaning of God’s reign. In response he told the scribe, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”—an observation we would surely want to claim for ourselves.
But it’s Mark’s final words that give us pause: “And no one dared to ask him any more questions.”
What were the others afraid of? These were undoubtedly learned men schooled in Mosaic Law. Asking and answering questions of one another would have been commonplace.
We can’t know for sure why the scribes felt threatened—and then fell silent. But I can say that in any relationship of value, asking questions is not only good but necessary. If one of us had been standing among the scribes that day, these are the questions we might have asked Jesus:
- How can I build God’s reign on earth?
- What can I do right now to welcome God into my life?
- How can I reflect love of God in all of my relationships?
Friend, I’ll try to answer my own questions this way: We build God’s reign through intimacy with Our Lord and his teachings, by witnessing compassion and love as Jesus did, and by sharing the joy of our faith with all those we know. That sounds a lot like living the two great commandments. With God’s grace, we, too, will not be far from the Kingdom of God.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Lance Nadeau, M.M.
Prayer for 5th Sunday
Jesus, my Lord, my Master and Savior
what must I do to enter Your kingdom?
Help me to do it.
What must I pray to have eternal life?
Help me to say it.
What must I be to give You glory?
Help me to become it.
O holy fountain of love, mercy and grace
restore in me Your divine image
that I may reflect Your truth In everything
I say and do that I might see Your face
and hear Your voice In everyone I meet
each day especially the poor, the weak and the sick.
You alone, Lord Jesus, are the answer
to all our prayers, the goal of our life
and the hope and dream of every heart.
In You my soul finds heavenly peace
and with You by my side
my every longing is fulfilled.
Prayer by, Father Joseph Veneroso M.M.