Today’s reading from Chapter 5 of the Gospel of Matthew reminds each of us about obeying the Ten Commandments and teaching others to do so as well. It might sound a bit negative at first glance, warning us not to break the law and to teach others the same. On second glance, however, it is positive for I think it is more about being like God, we who are created in His image and likeness.
If we think about it, the Ten Commandments are as relevant today as they were some 3500 years ago when they were given to Moses on Mt. Sinai. What else do we know that has lasted that long, and is still applicable in today’s world? They are at the core of what it means to be a human being. It is all about how to live peacefully with others; the Commandments are the foundation of moral law. Putting God FIRST, others second and ourselves last is the wisdom we hear from spiritual leaders, and it really works!
When taking a closer look at the Commandments, they show us both the heart/nature of God and what He desires of us. These rules of behavior encourage service, respect, honor, holiness, reconciliation, faithfulness, justice, truth, honesty, generosity and unselfishness. What a difference we would see in our world on the Nightly News, on Facebook or Instagram, or in newspapers and magazines, if we had these virtues as the focus of our lives. They serve as our do’s, rather than our don’ts.
A world without crime, war, fear, murder, guns used in anger, cruelty, lies and other things we hear about and see daily, seems like an impossible dream. The Ten Command-ments set us apart from this world. God has chosen us to choose to be different and live in ways that the world does not understand. When we strive to do one good deed at a time, we share the heart of God with others.
Some people think that we earn our salvation by being subject to the law. Jesus does not say to us, “If you obey my commandments, I will love you,” or, if you obey them, I will save you. Rather, He tells us that we show our love for Him by keeping the Commandments. Our challenge is to practice the virtues that the Commandments encourage us to live. Today’s First Reading from Sirach reminds us, “If you choose you can keep the
commandments, they will save you.” It is up to us.
Since the coming of Christ some 2000 years ago, the Commandments have not changed. Each day Jesus is our guide, model and teacher; He shows us the way. Having the heart of God by faithfully choosing to live these Commandments will help keep them be relevant for another 2000 plus year. So, let’s “Go Make a Difference in the World” and daily live the Spirit of Christ!