Today we come, in St Marks Gospel, to a revelation that sums up the essential elements of what is involved in being a true Christian. We have, up until this week- end, read a number of stories about Jesus being questioned. Sometimes he was questioned maliciously, sometimes in innocence and good will. Nevertheless, every time he is questioned Jesus has answered in a way that has left his followers a little speechless.

In today’s story it is a “scribe” (a trained and qualified expert in the Jewish law- A religious leader whom Jesus has criticised in the past) who asks Jesus a serious question.  He asks “which is the first of all the commandments?” In spite of the criticism that Jesus has previously had of “scribes”, it is clear that this fellow is a man of good will. Hence Jesus praises him warmly

The “Scribe” obviously knows that the most important commandment is to love God with all of one’s heart and mind.  Nevertheless, Jesus says “you are correct, but there is more to it than that – you must also love every human being with all of your heart and mind”.  The “scribe” agrees with Jesus!  The truth for us is very clear.  If Jesus is the Son of God, and at the same time a human being, all of us, as human beings, are part of God’s life.

We are invited today to remember that every human being, because of Jesus, has a share in the dignity of God. Hence, every human being deserves respect and, most importantly, has a right to a life of dignity.

Rev Mgr John Usher