It’s been said that God did not give Ten Suggestions, but Ten Commandments.
How true! And we need those commandments to have life and freedom. As background for today’s Gospel, we should look at the First Reading, where Moses relays to the Israelites what he heard from God: “Keep the commandments, that you may live.” (Deuteronomy 4;1-2,6-8)
The Israelites had been slaves in Egypt, and God gave them Ten Commandments to safeguard them from falling into a worse slavery — that of sin and death. Those who keep the commandments can enjoy the fullness of life and freedom without the restraints caused by sin.
If we are not truly free and fully alive today, it is because the Ten Commandments are not obeyed. We must lock our possessions because the seventh commandment is not kept. We are afraid to walk the streets at night because the fifth commandment is not observed.
And today’s world attacks life and freedom by imitating the Pharisees in the Gospel, substituting its commandments for God’s. God says, “You shall not kill.” Our government replaces this with: “You shall not put limits on abortion.” So millions of babies lose their lives, and we lose freedom because we are forced to pay taxes that fund abortions.
God did NOT give ten suggestions. He gave Ten Commandments. And how much better our world would be if everyone kept them! Let’s ask our Blessed Mother, who never broke God’s commandments, to help us and all the world keep them, and so enjoy true life and freedom.