How God's Commandments Make Us Free

Friday of Week 16 in Ordinary Time - Cycle I

Ex. 20:1-7 & Mt. 13:18-23

There are different ways to receive God's word - joyfully and fruitfully, or with indifference, resentment and frustration. Sadly we can even just reject it. That is the meaning of today's Gospel parable.

The Ten Commandments are God's word to His people. They are part of the covenant He made with them. By following this He was to be their God and they were to be His people. He would guide, protect and love His people and in return He wanted them to follow His will as manifested in the writing on the stones.

Throughout the Old Testament people responded to the commandments in different ways. Those commandments are still God's will for us today. How do we respond? Even very good people at times yearn for what they think is a greater freedom, to have the liberty to do what they want rather than what they should.

I am reminded of the astronauts who walked in space. What an exhilarating experience of freedom that must have been! And yet for survival they had to be confined within a space suit for protection against a hostile environment. They also had to be tethered by a lifeline to their space ship. Rather than inhibiting them the space suit and the lifeline were indispensable for their freedom.

God's commandments are not there to inhibit us. They are a condition for true freedom which allows us to fulfil our destiny. They are more than a protection against a hostile environment. They are a real lifeline with God Himself. How do we respond to God's commandments? Do we try and keep them or are we tempted to break them?

Lord Jesus, may we have open hearts and minds, and listen attentively to Your words so that we will bear abundant fruit in our lives.