Gospel of Mark 12:28-34 Reflection:
The readings today call for conversion of heart and repentance.
Hosea opens with the line, "Israel, come back to me with all your heart," and the gospel tells the story of the scribes who ask Jesus what is the most important commandment of them all.
Lent is the time of year when we are asked to think strongly about our relationship with God and Jesus and our neighbour. The readings are constantly calling all this to mind.
In the first reading there is a paternal understanding of God. The Jews of the Old Testament are told to come back to God and his anger shall be turned away from them.
As a desert dwelling people the immediate concerns they had were food and water. God promises these in abundance.
In the gospel the concern is not with this world but the next; Jesus preaches the Kingdom of God. When the scribe is able to give the correct answer to Jesus he is told that he "is not far from the kingdom of God."
In our lives we have plenty of food and water, Lent reminds us that there are higher things that should concern us now.