Todays Gospel 29.3.19




Mark 12:28-34
‘You are not far from the kingdom of God’
One of the scribes came up to Jesus and put a question to him, ‘Which is the first of all the commandments?’ Jesus replied, ‘This is the first: Listen, Israel, the Lord our God is the one Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You must love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.’ The scribe said to him, ‘Well spoken, Master; what you have said is true: that he is one and there is no other. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself, this is far more important than any holocaust or sacrifice.’ Jesus, seeing how wisely he had spoken, said, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ And after that no one dared to question him any more.
(from the University of Notre Dame)

Katie Lucenko ‘22

I have a tendency to rely heavily on my head rather than my heart. I have always approached my faith with this same analytical perspective. Although it’s more comfortable for me to approach my faith through logic and reason, I have found it has made it a lot harder for me to embrace my faith with my heart.

My first semester here at Notre Dame did nothing to alter these tendencies. In my first philosophy course last fall, I was steeped in the power of human reason. While our reason can help us understand God’s revelation, I eventually realised that relying so heavily on my mental faculties meant that I had closed my heart off to the call of God’s deep, transcendent love.

A defining moment in my journey came this past January when I began some preliminary reading for my Biblical Foundations of Theology class.

For this class, we read Dei Verbum, a constitution from the Second Vatican Council. Dei Verbum discusses the importance of Sacred Scripture in revelation and the Church. As I read, I was struck by the simple but profound truth that all of God’s interactions with human beings have sprung from God’s inexhaustible love of all creation. Our faith is a spectacularly beautiful love story. And if love is the foundation of God’s every interaction with humanity, so must it be the foundation of ours, too.

As Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel, our primary obligation is to love. The ritual, the structure, and the organisation of Catholicism exist to support this fundamental calling. Love of God and love of neighbour must be the root of everything we do.

Surely we are better people and the world is a better place, in our trying to follow this basic command from the almighty.


O God, whose love never fails, give us the insight and understanding of the scribe. May we hear your commands, and may they find a home in us and guide us to your truth. As we walk in your ways, we ask you to open the doors of the heavenly kingdom to us. Amen.