Sister Pegge Boehm
Friday of the Third Week of Lent
In today’s Gospel, we read of a SCRIBE questioning Jesus about his interpretation of the law, and not only questioning him, but agreeing with his interpretation of the law! There were many debates about which of the 613 commandments in the Torah were of greater and lesser importance. So, that is not out of character for the scribe. But it is how he responded that was the game changer. We would expect the scribe to be CHALLENGING Jesus, but there is no indication that he is doing that. In fact, the scribe says “well said, teacher,” not only affirming Jesus’ interpretation, but acknowledging him as a RABBI!!!! Can you imagine the courage it took for this scribe, an insider in the religious system, charged with preserving the law at all cost, to respond to Jesus: “You are right in saying, …..”? Instead of challenging Jesus to at least acknowledge the 613 commandments in the Torah, he agrees with Jesus’ interpretation in light of the new circumstances.
The distinctive dimension of Jesus’ interpretation of the law is that Jesus combines the Shema (Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength! Deuteronomy 6:4-5) with (“You shall love your neighbor as yourself” Leviticus 19:18). In Jesus’ teaching, the love of God is intimately connected with the love of neighbor and vice versa – the vertical and horizontal (the cross) nature of love!
Jesus came, not to destroy the law, but to fulfill the law, and the fullness is measured by LOVE! So what does this mean for us, today? First of all, we are reminded that our call as a Christian is to foster a relationship with God, THE ONE to whom we owe our life, the one who created us in love and for love; and second, go out and DO SOMETHING because we love GOD!
PRAYER: Listen to Matthew West’s song, DO SOMETHING on You Tube