Friday of the Third Week of Lent

March 20, 2020

HOS 14:2-10/MK 12:28-34

“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. There is no other commandment greater than these.”    

The New Testament reading for today is one of the most important readings in the New Testament. Jesus speaks to one of the scribes about the most important commandments. He doesn’t provide only one commandment when asked but two new commandments that go hand in hand with each other. One could argue that his first commandment references the Old Testament Commandments 1-3 and his second references commandments 4-10. The Old Testament Commandments are very concrete and actionable.  The New Testament Commandments from Jesus go even further, they are ultimately simple but include the great challenge to LOVE. These new commandments from Jesus truly challenge people to love God and love neighbor. To Jesus, it is not enough to obey (although obedience to the original 10 commandments is still critical), we must go even further to LOVE God and neighbor. 

Humanity, of course, does this imperfectly even when people of good will work together. At our very worst, humanity sometimes works in direct opposition to the New Testament commandments of love. At St. Thomas, however, I believe we strive toward these commandments. We are all here to learn, in the classroom, through co-curricular activities and through our work to be “morally responsible leaders who think critically, act wisely and work skillfully to advance the common good”. We, as morally responsible leaders; care for our neighbors, welcome and include each other in our community and even help to call one another toward repentance, forgiveness and a closer relationship with God. When the scribe understands Jesus, he’s told “You are not far from the Kingdom of God”. This is followed by awe and silence, “and no one dared ask him any more questions”. We at St. Thomas also eternally hope that we “are not far from the Kingdom of God”. 


Karen Harthorn
Associate Vice President for Procurement