“… as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”
The law (in particular, the 10 Commandments) is so gravely misunderstood – in part because we, as humans, sometimes so incompetently struggle with understanding right from wrong. Why should I care about killing my unborn child if I believe it is my right? Why should I care about getting drunk all the time if it isn’t harming anyone? Why should I care about keeping the Sabbath holy when I pray every other day?
But, here is the problem commonly highlighted in our commentaries on social issues, it becomes all about me! Yet, that is not the purpose of the law! The law is in place to protect, yes you, but also to uphold the good of the society, so that there is order and peace. It’s all about right relationship with one another (and, specifically God and His people); it’s not about self-preservation contrary to what our Darwinian-loving friends say.
Jesus, didn’t suffer, die, and defy death to create a new law or even to abolish the old, but rather to teach us what the law means. That the law means love.
St. Paul in his letter to the Romans very specifically outlines that the one “free gift” of Jesus overshadowed the “trespasses” (against the law) of many, in turn, showing us that the power of Christ’s redemption lied within the gift. The obedience of the law, therefore, is love. God cared so much about His relationship with us that He gave us the ultimate gift of unconditional, sacrificial love. An expensive gift, but given freely.
This is how we must understand the 10 Commandments and obedience to the law. It sets us free – it allows us to live as we were created to live. It allows us to live in love.
Yet, it still isn’t easy.
Today, pick up the 10 Commandments and ask yourself,
“How have I closed myself off from God’s grace?”
Ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten your mind and teach you where you need to grow in relationship with Him better. Ask Him for His pardon, peace, and help. But, most importantly, find a time in the next week to seek His grace and forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.