Before God gave the Ten Commandments, "there were peals of thunder and lightning, and a heavy cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast" (Ex 19:16). "Mount Sinai was all wrapped in smoke, for the Lord came down upon it in fire. The smoke rose from it as though from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently. The trumpet blast grew louder and louder, while Moses was speaking and God answering him with thunder" (Ex 19:18-19). This is how the Lord set the stage for the revelation of the Ten Commandments.
In the new covenant, Jesus, the new Moses, went up a mountain and gave us the eight Beatitudes. He set the stage for this by curing "all those afflicted with various diseases and racked with pain: the possessed, the lunatics, the paralyzed" (Mt 4:24).
As different as the settings of the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes were, they come from the same God. The effect of obeying the Ten Commandments is beatitude, that is, happiness. The Beatitudes are not mere suggestions nor ideals but commandments. The Ten Commandments are Beatitudes, and the Beatitudes are commandments.
May we tremble with the fear of the Lord and obey both the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes. May we be so deeply healed that we will happily live the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes.
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from June 1, 2011 through July 31, 2011.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 1, 2011.