Friday, July 24, 2009

The Lord's Top Ten

First Reading: Ex 20:1-17
Psalm: Ps 19:8-11 -- Lord, you have the words of everlasting life
Gospel: Mt 13:18-23


To do a commentary on the Ten Commandments is a much larger project than could ever be encompassed, let alone by our little signs. We will do but a small look, with the help of the Catechism. There is a large section of the CCC dedicated to the Decalogue (over 100 pages!), all of it which is beautiful to read and packed with wisdom.

I. I AM the Lord your God: you shall not have strange gods before me. (CCC 2084-2132)
- This commandment contains quite a lot. We are to have faith in the Lord our God. We are to put Him first. We are to avoid attempts to take His place with superstitions or divination. We must remember that He is the Lord, regardless of whether we acknowledge Him or even recognize His existence.
It is written: "You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve." - Matthew 4:10
II. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. (CCC 2142-2159)
- Do you not find it odd when someone, not a Christian, calls upon God when they are hurt or upset? They do this because there is power in the name of the Lord, though they know it not. This commandment tells us that we are to have respect for God. We are to avoid making oaths, when a simple yes or no will do, and we must honor the oaths that we commit ourselves to.

III. Remember to keep holy the Lord's Day. (CCC 2168-2188)
- We, as humans, tend to have one of two mindsets: either we wish to be busy and wear ourselves ragged with work, or else we are lazy and avoid work altogether. The rest of the sabbath day is to remind us that we are to work, and we are to rest. The day of rest is to allow us time to reflect on the good things that our Lord has given to us, to praise Him and learn of what He has to tell us.

IV. Honor your father and mother. (CCC 2197-2246)
- This is a great section to read in the catechism. It lays out clear details of what each member of the family and society is responsible to do. For, just as we are to honor our parents, we must honor our civil and spiritual leaders, provided their laws and rules are not in conflict with those of the Lord.
He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them - Luke 2:51
V. You shall not kill. (CCC 2258-2317)
- From this commandment, we learn and understand how we are to avoid taking the life of any of our brothers or sisters. We are not to justify the taking of life, through pleas of mercy or compassion. We also learn how to avoid war, and under what cases we are to mount a legitimate defense. What is more, we are to learn to control our temper.

VI. You shall not commit adultery. (CCC 2331-2391)
- Marriage is a sacred institution, created by God Himself. It predates the Mosaic Law. For that matter, it predates all human laws. We are not to profane either that institution, or ourselves. We are to honor and cherish the gift of being either male or female and not seek to degrade others or ourselves in lust. The gift of our sexuality is a powerful gift; but the more powerful and precious the gift, the more terrible and destructive it will become if used improperly.

VII. You shall not steal. (CCC 2401-2449)
- A very important commandment to keep in mind at the present time. This commandment is strongly tied to justice. Not only are we to avoid outright theft, but we must also be fair in our dealings. Workers are to be paid proper wages for their labor. Employers and tradesmen must not cheat their employees and clients. If a contract is drawn, it should not be broken.

VIII. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (CCC 2464-2503)
- Simply put: You shall not lie. You shall not commit perjury. You shall not commit slander. You shall not commit libel. You shall not commit calumny. Gossip and the spreading of rumors destroys relationships and reputations. In many areas of our lives, we take it for granted that the people near us are truthful and when once we meet someone who is not, it can be devastating. Take care with your words, as they are not easily retracted.

IX. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife (CCC 2514-2527)
- This one is so important, we got it twice. It is really in line with the tenth commandment, but this particular part is stressed. We must take extra precaution to not burn with lust, for of all of the belongings of your neighbor, their spouse is the one thing they have that cannot be duplicated. The relationship between spouses is different from our relationship between us and the rest of the things that belong to us, because the spouse cannot be traded or sold. They are bonded to each other, and it is not for any mortal to seek to break that bond.

X. You shall not covet your neighbor's goods. (CCC 2543-2550)
- This commandment is a warning to us. We are to take care not to let greed or gluttony run amok in our lives and our thinking, for they will make the best of men into beasts. But most of all, we are warned of envy. Of the seven deadly sins, envy is the only one that is despised among all peoples, Christians, Jews, Muslims, skeptics and atheists. Envy is the desire to take possession of all desires, or if they are not to be obtained, to prevent others from enjoying them. If left unchecked, this blackness of heart will consume a person and drive them to destruction.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also - Matthew 6:21

Heavenly Father, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. We thank you for your laws, which not only point us back to you, but also allow us to live in peace with our neighbor. Lord, guide us always in the light of your truth. Fill our hearts with understanding, that we might look upon your laws and see them, not as restrictions, but as protection born of your great love for us. We ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Nice handle on the 10 commandments. I agree with you that the Catechism is an excellent source to read in understanding these further.