Thursday, January 03, 2013

The Tenth day of Christmas

Ten lords a-leaping and ten Commandments. These are seen in such a negative light that the real joy and strength that they possess is obscured by the word "don't". Four of these commandments underpin our understanding of the legal system - murder, adultery, theft, perjury - and three of these are regarded as criminal offences. Adultery no longer counts as a criminal offence, but then neither do blasphemy, Sunday trading, failure to attend Mass, or being envious of another's propert. Does this mean our legal system is deficient?

The question of legality is actually irrelevant. The Ten Commandments are not a stick with which to beat people. They are a framework for identity, the skeleton on which we can build our understanding of "Love thy neighbour as thyself", the beginning of how we can understand relationships with other people. To understand what murder is means that we have to understand why it is a crime and that leads us to why the lives of others are not only as valuable as ours, but more valuable to us in their preservation. To understand what adultery really is means that we recognise that relationships have boundaries and sacrosancta that must not be violated. The ten commandments provide us with boundaries that keep us safe and aware of the Love of God.

We should meditate on the ten commandments which are, after all, the beginning of the Jewish Law since the Torah is full of commandments and edicts. These are misunderstood by so many folk these days and yet they represented the founding of God's own people in the Jews before Salvation was offered also to the Gentiles in Our Lord Jesus Christ.

God has given us the framework  in which we can bear the fruits of the Spirit which lead to the beatitudes borne from cultivating the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in addition to the gifts of Creation and Life under the Law of God announced in the Gospels in which the Glorious Trinity expounds His twofold covenant ratified in the blood of Christ Crucified. Our True Love commands so that we may indeed know we are loved.

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