Commentary on the Gospel of
The question: “Which commandment is the first of all?” is such a debated question among rabbis. As they tended to expand the Law into thousands of regulations, they also tried to pick out its essence and express it on the shortest form. (A rabbi was once asked to instruct someone in the Law while standing on one leg!) The scribe in today’s Gospel came with the usual question. When Jesus answered, the scribe said, “Well spoken, Master!” It was like a teacher saying, “Good boy, Johnny!” He sounded more like an examiner than a questioner. But he was better than the ones we saw yesterday and the previous day. “You are not far from the Kingdom,” said Jesus. The Kingdom is more than reciting the correct formulas: it is God’s grace invading us like a great wave and sweeping us out of our depth.