31st Sunday Ordinary Time Nov. 5, 2006

Homily — 31st Sunday Ordinary Time MMVI Nov. 5, 2006


Well said teacher, you are right in saying this.

Our liturgical year draws to an end; only three more Sundays remain until the Season of Advent. In a few week’s we’ll celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King, remembering how God the Father has given all judgment over to Jesus the Just Judge.

Jesus, the Judge of all, is judged by noone. He is the Word made Flesh, and His Words are spirit and life, inerrant and infallible.

It should be in this context that we view the interesting exchange between this scribe and our Lord Jesus.

One of the scribes (the scribes were the learned class of Jews) came up to Jesus and asked Him “Which is the first of all the commandments?” And after Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, gave His irrevocable answer, the scribe said to Him, “Well said, teacher. You are right in saying that.”

Jesus, the All Powerful God, the Judge of all, is being judged by this ordinary scribe, who Mark doesn’t bother to name because he wasn’t outstanding in any way. But this ordinary scribe stands up to Jesus and says: “Let me tell you something Jesus: you are right. And I’m gonna tell you why you’re right and not wrong. And another thing: that was perfect the way you said it. I wouldn’t have said it any differently!”

Notice how after this Pontificating, Jesus doesn’t say to the scribe “You, a sinner, are going to tell Me, the Son of God, why I am right and not wrong? You, a creature doomed to die, are telling Me that My Eternal Word meets your approval?”

Jesus doesn’t say any of these things; instead He says “You answer with understanding….you are not far from the kingdom of God.”

Jesus was actually very pleased with the Scribes judgement of Him, because it showed that the Scribe was loving God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength.

The Scribe was in effect saying “You know Jesus, I’ve really thought long and hard, with all my mind, about how I should please God, I’ve pondered deeply, with all my soul, on all the Books of the Scriptures, each day I seek after God, with all my heart, and ask Him to enlighten me and show me the truth, and then when God shows me the truth, I abandon everything else and run after it with all my strength.”

“And so I say Well said Jesus. You are right on about what the greatest commandment is.”

My brothers and sisters, Jesus loves it when we tell Him He’s right. He so wants us to run up to Him and say “You know Jesus, that was well said when you said “I am the Bread of Life; He who comes to Me shall not hunger” You are so right! Now that I know You in the Eucharist I no longer hunger for you as I used to!

And that was also great when you said love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you. I believe the same thing!

And that was really well said when you talked about the sheep and the goats and that Whatever you do to the least of my brothers, you do to Me. You are so right about that!

And you know Jesus, not many people are gonna tell you this today, many people think you are wrong, but you are even right in what you say about purity of body and mind, and about the indissolubility of marriage, about acknowledging ones sins and repenting of them, and about everything you say in the Bible. Well said, all of it!!!!

Jesus loves it when, after much prayer and study and struggle, we finally come to embrace His teachings so that they seem more like our own ideas rather than His ideas (of course, they are all His ideas which the Holy Spirit has placed in our heart).

So may we strive to answer Jesus with understanding, an understanding of the perennial truths of our Catholic Faith, and so prove to Christ that we do love the Lord our God with all our heart….soul….mind and….strength. Then we will be truly not far from the Kingdom of God.

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