My Dear Sisters and Brothers!
The Ten Commandments is not a set of some random rules and regulations but it is advice for a happy life, for a fulfilled life. Why am I certain about that? Because this advice has been given by our God who wants us to be free from all forms of slavery we may find ourselves subjected to. That’s why those who taught me how to pray included a brief sentence taken from the Scriptures: ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.’ Then I was told to recite the Ten Commandments as a part of my daily prayer. Look the homily given by Moses in our first reading was about it too. Moses was not introducing some code of law. Moses was revealing to his people God’s advice for life that is truly happy and fulfilling, not for a few weeks or a few years but for eternity. What the people gathered around Moses heard is addressed to us too: ‘Keep the commandments of the Lord your God… Keep them, observe them and they will demonstrate to the peoples your wisdom and understanding.’ Wisdom and understanding are the fruits of keeping and observing the commandments.
We, like those listeners of Moses, are called to keep the commandments of the Lord. For the people of God the most sacred physical object on Earth contained the Ten Commandments, something similar to our Tabernacle. It was also an invitation for every believer to place the Commandments of the Lord in their centre of their own soul. As Christians, who have inherited the tradition of the Old Testament, we have preserved the way of believing which is about paying attention to God’s word, to his advice about a happy and fulfilled life. That’s why when we gather to celebrate the Sacred Mysteries of our Faith, to celebrate Mass; we first listen to God’s word. We do so before we make any petitions to God. The Tablets with the Ten Commandments have been lost for millennia but the Ten Commandments have been engraved into our conscience and memory, into our soul, deeply. I encourage you to reclaim the Ten Commandments as your daily prayer because when we pray the Ten Commandments with love and faith we receive God’s grace to observe them.
My Dear fellow believers! The way of life proposed by God is not smooth and easy. Jesus never promised that. But in our society, where noting is solid and lasting, we are given an opportunity to support our decisions, our plans, our failures and successes on God ‘with whom there is no such thing as alteration, no shadow of a change.’ Like St Augustin, whom we venerated yesterday we say: ‘Our heart is restless until it rests in you’ because God is the only firm foundation for us. St Augustin for a long time was running away from God because he thought that he would lose his chance for happiness if he were a Christian. What he eventually discovered he expressed in these words: ‘Late have I loved you, O Beauty so ancient and so new: late have I loved you.’ May his regret for wasting so much time inspire us to live every moment in such a way that we can say: ‘Today I love you, O Beauty so ancient and so new: today I love you my Lord and my God.’