The ten commandments

March 7, 2021

The giving of the Ten Commandments to the people of Israel through Moses was one of the most memorable moments in the history of the chosen people. After they had left their place of slavery in Egypt, having crossed the Red Sea, God decided to begin a new relationship with His people, and in doing so, He had to give them a series of commandments as a road map for this new alliance with them. As is evident from their past history, their greatest weakness was the frequent relapse into idolatry. The Ten Commandments begin with a recognition of that weakness and a reminder to place God above all else. Just in case they had forgotten, God reminded them of His mighty deeds that brought them out of Egypt, against all odds. The Decalogue is not something that most of us constantly meditate upon, although we should. As we continue on this Lenten journey, it is time to go back to the basic foundations of our faith. Fidelity to God is at the very core of that foundation. In a world in which we are constantly besieged by numerous concerns competing for our attention, it is time to ask ourselves once again, where is God in all these? Jesus demonstrates to us in today’s Gospel that doing the will of his father was always His non-negotiable priority. At the risk of becoming a target of attack by the Jewish authorities, He went into the temple and drove out all the money changers who used their businesses to exploit the people. He knew quite well that the zeal to do the father’s will would come with a price, and yet He would not be swayed. As Jesus unabashedly drove out of the temple all acts of profanity that were capable of desecrating it, we are reminded that we are the new temple of God. This 40-day period is a time when we are called to get rid of anything that is capable of destroying that temple. Jesus would put it in a much more graphic way when He says: ‘If your right eye would cause you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into hell (Matt.5:29). This is a time for a deep soul searching, a time to excise those cancerous parts of our body- greed, envy, malice, un-forgiveness, lies, and many more. It is time to destroy them for good before they destroy us. Amen.

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