Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time

Readings for August 23

When we were little we were expected to memorize the basic truths of our Faith. At the top of the list were the Ten Commandments, which could be difficult to memorize. Today’s Gospel passage offers a clue to help us to remember—or to teach—the Ten Commandments more easily.

If not pointed out, we may never have noticed that in many pictures of Moses bringing down the two tablets from Mt. Sinai, the Ten Commandments are not divided five and five. Rather, the first tablet has the first three commandments, and the other tablet the remaining seven. This illustrates Jesus’ teaching today: that there are, in fact, simply “two commandments”.

On the Cross most especially, but in fact in His very divine Person, Jesus embodies the unity of these “two commandments”. True God and true man, Jesus’ teaching today merely foreshadows what He teaches us on Calvary. Some people teach an ethic that promotes complete devotion to God, but ignores if not disdains the corruption of man. Others teach an ethic that promotes an apotheosis of human nature, but disdains if not altogether denies God. Neither of these “two commandments” in fact can stand or be understood thoroughly without the other. Jesus reveals the meaning of each of these commandments in His divine Person.

Commentary from the Diocese of Wichita

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