Mark 12:28-34-Remembering Love
We are remembering this month those who have died All Hallows Eve, a man who tried to blow up parliament because of the persecution of Catholics at the time and those we have lost in two wars that devastated this country and much of the world. The gospel story is also about remembering.
The man who asks Jesus the question “What is the greatest commandment?” has been encouraged by Jesus. He has been told he is not far from the kingdom. But he was probably devastated because he thought he was saved. The story shows that the scribes have forgotten what is important and need to be reminded of that. Keeping the Jewish laws cannot save you. Keeping religious laws today cannot save you whether you are a Jew, a Christian or a Muslim. We are not saved by what we do!
Jesus answers the man by quoting the Shema, the great Jewish prayer (Deut.6:4) “The Lord your God is one God…
You shall love. Love is what is important. We must remember to love God.
And we must love our neighbour! Loving our neighbour means acting with compassion. Neighbour in Hebrew means fellow citizen or friend. Love even extends to the foreigner and traveler within our gates, our country. (Asylum seekers, migrants) This is no easy task and many people feel anything but love to their neighbours and foreigners. But this is what Jesus calls us to do. Love, pray even for our enemies!
Psychologically it would be difficult for a person to love others if they didn't first love themselves! You have to love yourself! Jesus reminds them of that too.
So Jesus reminds his hearers that the heart of the Law is , to love and be loved. We may be near to the kingdom. Remembering who we are keeps us humble.