One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him, "Which is the first of all the commandments?" Jesus replied, "The first is this: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Luke 12:28-31)
The scribes (Etym. Latin scriba, official writer, clerk, scribe, from scribere, to write.) came to Jesus with an agenda. To understand their agenda, we need to understand who they are, what they do. They are a class of well-educated Jews who studied and explained the law. Occasionally they were referred to as lawyers or rabbis (Matthew 23:7). They were not priests. Some were members of the Sanhedrin (Matthew 26:57). Because they were devoted to defending and preserving the law, they considered Jesus a threat to their security. They challenged and baited him (Mark 2:16) on numerous occasions and ultimately took part in plotting his death (Luke 22:1-2). Were they surprised with Jesus’ answer? Yes. Although Jesus knew their hardness of heart, he took a softer approach in helping them to understand more about themselves rather than dismissing them immediately as he did in other encounters. Jesus shows them the important of these two commandments on which the whole law and the prophets depend. (Matthew 22:40) If the scribes get it, they will be better off. Their hidden agenda were exposed with a pleasant surprise by Jesus. Life often presents us with surprises. How do we deal with them? Do we see them as a threat to our agenda or as a teachable opportunity to help us grow? When our hearts are open to our daily surprises, and we can get beyond the fear of change and submit ourselves to God’s plan—even when it seems to conflict with our own plans—amazing things can happen. Yes! Look that the cross on which hung the salvation of the world.
Let us ask ourselves today: are we open to "God's surprises"?
St. Augustine called the cross a pulpit from which our Lord taught mankind. Indeed, Christ gave us lessons in faith, hope and charity in fulfilling Divine Justice for our sins by suffering and dying on the cross so that we might have Eternal Life.
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You because by Your holy cross You have redeemed the world. (Stations of the Cross)
Peace in Christ,
Father Vincent-Vuong Nguyen
Sent by Fr. Vincent Nguyen on Friday, March 9 at 6:59AM