Thursday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
“You are not far from the kingdom of God” was the affirming statement of Jesus to the Scribe who asked the question: “Which commandment is the first of all?” He was not far from the kingdom of God because he had properly understood the importance of the observance of the commandments. He has realised that the observance of the commandments is important than any burnt offering or sacrifice.
We too can be closer to the kingdom of God by coming to understand the importance of following commandments. Yes dear friends, our God is the God of the covenant and His covenant is based on the commandments. In the Garden of Eden, He gave a single commandment. Later, on Mount Sinai, He gave Ten Commandments through Moses. Later, Jesus, during His journey on earth, has summarized all the commandments into a single commandment of love – love towards the Creator and the creation (they are not different from each other; rather the latter is the fulfilment of the former). We need to understand and comprehend this fact not to be far from the kingdom of God. But, is it enough just to be closer to the kingdom of God? Aren’t we supposed to be in the kingdom of God?
To be in the kingdom of God, to ever enjoy the presence of God we need to become followers of the commandments, for it is the will of God. It is not enough to understand and it is not enough to preach the commandments; we need to live the commandments for it is the will of God for us: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven (Mt 7: 21)” and “If you love me you will keep my commandments (Jn 14: 15)”.