Reflection: 4th November 2018

A Reflection for the Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

MK 12: 28 - 34 (

I can imagine one of the scribes coming to Jesus full of confidence with his question: “Which commandment is first of all?”

Not impressed, Jesus takes him slowly and answers him coolly. He says “Love God with all your heart and love your neighbour as yourself. This is more important than burnt offering and sacrifices.”

Here again Jesus criticises the Temple style of spirituality and criticises piety as a mask for robbery.

As I understand the background to this story: when a husband died, the people from the Temple took over the management of the property, charged a levy and eventually claimed ownership. This is one of the ways the scribes became wealthy.

This story about the scribe must also be understood in our own times as an invitation to change the systems that create wealth and poverty, that maintains privilege within our own country or in our world.  We hear every day of people dispossessed, where the banks or others call in loans and houses, or where property is taken.

The demonstrations that we see on our streets weekly are by people who want to bring about change in different areas of our lives.

This text questions me in relation to social issues in our time and country.

Michael Kane C.S.Sp. – Ordained in 1969,Fr. Michael has ministered in Ireland, Brazil and the USA. He currently leads the work in Ireland of the Office for Spiritan Life & Identity.