Chapter 12 starts with Jesus speaking to the chief priests, scribes and elders in parables. He tells the Parable of the Tenants showing them that “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone”. Feeling the sting of criticism, they considered arresting Jesus but feared the people.
He is then visited by the Pharisees and Herodians who test him by asking whether it’s lawful to pay taxes to Caesar.
The Sadducees ask Jesus a question about the Resurrection before one of the scribes asks about the Great Commandment. Jesus teaches in the temple and warns of the behaviour of the scribes.
The chapter concludes with the account of the poor widow’s offering. She gives two small copper coins – all she has.
Reading Mark in Advent is an 18-part podcast series that sees us upload a chapter of Mark’s Gospel each weekday of the season.
With a global pandemic sweeping the world and lockdowns and restrictions placed on our everyday living – not to mention patterns of worship and prayer – this is very much “the Word in Lockdown”.
But the Word of God is never locked down, isolated and contained. As Pope Francis says:
“The word of God is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12); it does not die, nor does it age, but it remains for ever (cf. 1 Peter 1:25). It stays young in the presence of all that passes away (cf. Matthew 25:35) and preserves those who put it into practice from inner aging.”