Commentary on Mark 12:28-34
Both readings are about our total commitment to God.
In the Gospel we find one of the rare meetings between Jesus and a teacher of the Law which is not confrontational. The man seems genuinely interested in Jesus’ answer to a question that was often asked by interpreters of the Law. Again, rather unusually, Jesus answers the question directly.
In fact, he gives a double answer. In doing so, he links in a special and indivisible way a total love of God with love of those around us. The scribe is impressed. He fully endorses what Jesus has said and even adds that such love transcends any purely religious activity. Jesus is also impressed and tells the scribe that he is very close to the Kingdom of God.
Jesus says this because the scribe puts love of God and neighbour at the very centre of living but he will not be fully in the Kingdom until he becomes a follower of the Way of Jesus. Whether that happened or not we do not know.
What we do know is that we today are being called to follow Jesus in a total commitment of heart, mind and strength to loving God and to loving unconditionally every single person we come in contact with.
Lent is a good time for us to evaluate how we are doing in this regard.