The Ten Commandments

Clergy Corner by Fr. David A. Runnion for March 8, 2015

Clergy Corner by Fr. David A. Runnion for March 8, 2015, 3rd Sunday of Lent
Exodus 20:1-17; Psalm 19:8-11; 1 Corinthians 1:22-25; John 2:13-25

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The Ten Commandments are basic guidelines from the Lord to keep us on the path to life. Because serious violations of them are mortal sins, which separate us from God and keep us out of Heaven, they are an essential part of the law that we are to live by and to teach our children (see Ex 20:1-17; Dt 6:4-9):

The Ten Commandments

1. I am the LORD your God: you shall not have strange Gods before me.
2. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
3. Remember to keep holy the LORD'S Day.
4. Honor your father and your mother.
5. You shall not kill.
6. You shall not commit adultery.
7. You shall not steal.
8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
9. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife.
10. You shall not covet your neighbor's goods.

All the Commandments are grounded in love, and they are part of the larger Holiness Code within the Law given by God to Moses for the Chosen People.

The Ten Commandments "point out the conditions of a life freed from the slavery of sin" (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2057).

The first three Commandments teach us to love the Lord our God, and the last seven to love our neighbor. Jesus summarized the entire Law by encapsulating it in the two greatest commandments:

"You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments" (Mt 22:38-40).

During Lent, we examine our lives by God's standards. Where we find ourselves wanting, we beseech the Lord's mercy, especially in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

On the journey toward His Passion, Jesus displays the zeal for His Father's House and the holy way of life that befits a child of God. He teaches us to be zealous for love of God and neighbor and to live righteously in a fallen world.

With the Lord's help, may our concerted Lenten efforts to rid our lives of sin and to do works of charity bear much fruit.

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