44. The ten commandments:
 a God's gift
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  Introduction

   The gospel tells us that a young man came to Jesus and asked him: "Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” Jesus replied: "if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments.” (Matthew 19, 17). In this manner, he indicated what the way to heaven is.

    Indeed, the fulfillment of the commandments is the way to save us. Those who do not comply with them are condemned. God revealed to Moses the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. They were engraved on two tablets of stone so that the people will never forget them. Jesus perfected the law and instructed the church to keep and taught it to all men. Following Jesus Christ involves keeping the Commandments.

  A. Choose one of these words and answer: human, eternal, commandments, sacraments, Sinai, Carmel, papyrus, stone, church or community.

 Teacher, what good deed must I do to have  
 If you want the eternal life, keep the
 
 God gave Moses the Ten Commandments on Mount  
 The commandments were engraved on two tablets of  
 For safeguard, Jesus entrusted them to the  

  Main ideas

1. The objective of man

   The man has a plan for which he was created by God. This is to glorify God by loving and obeying him on earth to be happy then with him in heaven.

    How to praise God? Complying his will which directs man to his plan and, as we are free beings, we must assume it with love and obedience to our Creator and Lord. God's will is expressed primarily in the commandments of God's law.

2. The eternal law as order of creation to its objective

   Contemplating created things, we observe that they follow natural laws: the earth goes around the sun, the plants bloom in the spring, man feels remorse when done something wrong, etc. This does not happen by chance, but this is perfectly designed for the wisdom of God. He has ordered all things so that each of them fulfills its purpose: minerals, plants, animals and man. As this order is designed and planned by God from all eternity, we call it eternal law.

3. Natural law as a rule of man

   Minerals, plants and animals always obey the law of God (the eternal law) that, in this case, is determined by physical and biological laws. The man, as free being, is freely directed to his objective after knowing the law that God has given him and is within himself. That law written by God in our hearts is called natural law; and as it is written in human nature, it forces all men of all time. As a participation of the eternal law, man cannot change it and therefore, it is universal and immutable.

4. Sometimes the natural law is difficult to know

   Men have the natural law engraved in the heart, so that they can know the basic principles. Therefore, the pagans who did not glorify God are inexcusable, says Saint Paul. However, it is difficult to know it; the original sin and personal sins obscure its knowledge. For this reason, in order that men might know what to do to please God, he revealed what was his goodwill by giving us the Ten Commandments.

    These highlight the essential duties and thus, indirectly, the fundamental rights inherent in the nature of the human person. The Decalogue contains a privileged expression of the natural law.

  B. There are 6 true sentences and 2 false entences. Click on the true ones.

   The purpose of man is to glorify God, by loving and obeying him on Earth
 

 So man will be happy in heaven

   We praise God by fulfilling his goodwill
   God's will is to fulfill the commandments of God's law
   The eternal law is the order of creation to its objective
   As man is free, God has given him human law
   God revealed his will by giving us the Ten Commandments
   Men have the natural law engraved in the heart

5. The revelation of the commandments to Moses

   God was not only content to engrave his law in the heart of man, but he has clearly revealed it. At Mount Sinai, when the chosen people left Egypt, God told Moses about the Ten Commandments or Decalogue, giving them engraved into two stone tablets to never forget to fulfill them. Those Ten Commandments are in the Catechism: 1) Love God above all things; 2) Do not take the holy name of God in vain; 3) sanctify the holidays; etc.

    The commandments point out how to act, the way to happiness in this life and the next. Therefore, we say that the Ten Commandments are a gift from God, as they are the instrument by which God reveals to man what is good and what is bad, what is true and what is false, what he likes and what he dislikes.

6. Jesus Christ perfects the law

   The law that God gave to Moses at Sinai was perfected by Jesus Christ, who puts himself as a model and path to reach eternal life: "I am the way, the truth and the life" (John 14, 6). This perfection is revealed especially in the new commandment of love. After loving God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, with all forces, he commands us to love one another as he loved us. The Church, (the successor of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ) continues teaching, guarding and interpreting the law given by God to men.

7. Obligation to fulfill the commandments

   As God is the Creator, Lord and owner of the universe, all creation is subjected to the law or order imposed by him. Irrational creatures inevitably fulfill them, but the man is free and could not follow them, if he wants. If man does not obey the divine law, he commits sin, offends God and gets hurt himself and others. On the contrary, if man saves the commandments, he is assured of being on the right way and of doing the will of God. We should not feel oppressed by the commandments, but we should have the great and noble vision that God wants our well-being.

8. To fulfill the commandments for love

   Consequently, bearing in mind that the commandments are the way that reveals the manner of acting rightly and warns of the dangers, we have to say that the Ten Commandments of God's law are proof of the love and mercy of him who loved us first. So we have to fulfill them for love. It is the response that God expects of us.

    We must, therefore, know the contents of the commandments, if we want live them well and for love.


Catechesis course. Mister Jaime Pujol Balcells and mister Jesus Sancho Bielsa. EUNSA. Navarra. 1982. with the permission of the authors.


  C. There are 8 true sentences and 2 false sentences. Click on the true ones.

   God gave Moses the Ten Commandments or Decalogue
   The third commandment is to love God above all things
   The commandments point out how to act
   The commandments point out the way to happiness in this life and in the next
   Jesus said: I am the way, the truth and the life
   We must love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength
   We are commanded to love one another as he has loved us
   Irrational creatures freely fulfill the eternal law
   If man does not fulfill the divine law, he sins
   The commandments must be fulfilled with love

  Catechisms Questions

1. Who gave the Ten Commandments?  God gave them to Moses in the alliance with his people.

2. Are the commandments still valid today?  The commandments are still valid because they express man's fundamental duties towards God and neighbor, and this has an essential and permanent value.

3. Can the man obey the commandments?  Man can obey the commandments because the grace of God to do good and avoid evil will never lack.

4. How did Jesus summarize the Ten Commandments?  Jesus summarized the Ten Commandments in the two precepts of charity: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.

  D. Choose the correct answer. The possible answers are below 

 QUESTIONS

 ANSWERS

 Who gave the Ten Commandments?  
 Are the commandments still valid today?  
 Can man obey the commandments?  
 How did Jesus summarize the Ten Commandments?  

 POSSIBLE ANSWERS
 A  Yes. Because the grace of God to do good and avoid evil will never lack.
 B  God gave them to Moses in the alliance with his people.
 C  In the two precepts of charity: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
 D  Yes. Because they express the fundamental duties of man towards God and neighbor, and this has an essential and permanent value.

  Purposes of Christian life

– To Learn the Ten Commandments of God's law (they are in the "Profession of Faith" section).").

– To decide to always fulfill the commandments of God's law, supported by supernatural grace.



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