“And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding, he said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And no one dared to ask him any more questions.”

Mark 12:34

Thursday, 04 June 2020

2 Timothy 2:8-15; Psalm 24(25):4-14; Mark 12:28-34.

Today’s Gospel offers us both an insight into Jesus’ attitude and summary to faith itself. Love God, love neighbour, love self. The rest is commentary. This is the core of Jesus’ teaching – and, commentators tell us, all the summation of the Jewish law. (Some think this may even have been the thinking of Rabbi Hillel, a prominent scholar who was contemporaneous with Jesus). 

Nothing new, nothing special. Simple! But learning how to apply it is a life’s task. That is why Jesus tells the young man that he is not far from the reign of God. And that is our challenge too. Knowing the basics of faith and ethics is good; believing it – as the young man clearly does – is better; putting it into practice is best.

We often also get caught up in the intricacies and debates about how we live it all out in practice. Perhaps like me, we start getting caught up in questions as to the specifics. That is an excellent intellectual exercise and may well be important as we try to put faith into practice. But sometimes the questions become more important than the challenge to live.

Loving God  Loving God, Send your Spirit upon us; Open us to seek you and your kingdom With honesty and hope Through Christ our Lord Amen.


Fr Anthony Egan SJ

Fr Anthony Egan SJ (born Cape Town 1966; entered the Jesuits 1990; ordained 2002) has taught, full-time or part-time, at St Augustine College of South Africa, St John Vianney Seminary, Fordham University (on sabbatical) and the University of the Witwatersrand. The author/co-author of a number of books, book chapters, academic and popular articles, he is a correspondent for America magazine, a contributor to Worldwide and writes for spotlight.africa. He is also a commentator on local and international radio and television. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Helen Suzman Foundation. Extramural interests include Science Fiction, Theatre, Art and creative writing, including poetry.

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