With Fr Paul Gooley on Annual Leave, Tony Worner, Leader of Formation for St Agnes’ Parish presents our Gospel reflections this week and today reads from the Gospel of Mark (12: 28-34) in which Jesus identifies the two most important commandments: the first, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’ and the second, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’

Tony notes that the Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes often get a bad rap; he says, we shouldn’t forget however, that many of them, for all their shortcomings, were trying to live upright, and holy lives. In today’s Gospel, a scribe approaches Jesus with a question. Jesus immediately observes his sincerity of heart and commends him for his wise insight. The Scribe and Jesus both recognise the truth that the First Commandment – to love God – and the Second – to love our neighbour as ourselves – are far more important that any holocaust or sacrifice (destruction or slaughter), any rules or regulations.

Today, Tony says, let us ask Jesus to deepen in us the wisdom and qualities he saw in the Scribe, that he can say to us what he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God”.