Magazine /

October 31, 2006

Volume 123, Issue #22


Another commandment: Hebrews 9:11-14; Mark 12:28-34

I read this week’s lectionary passages last summer in the Urubamba Valley in my native Peru, and in my native Spanish: “Pero Cristo ya vino, y ahora el es el Sumo sacerdote . . .” At first I resisted the Hebrews passage, as I prefer Jesus’ concrete teachings to more abstract theological concepts. So, while leading a tour group across the Andes, I turned to Mark: “And man must love God with all his heart and with all his mind and with all his strength; and he must love his neighbor as he loves himself.”

Small change (Hebrews 9:24-28; Mark 12:38-44)

I remember seeing Helena, a widow, unfolding a $20 bill to put in the offering plate. I knew that her family was selling its possessions to pay the ransom for her only son, imprisoned by guerrillas.

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