So a really cheerful Gospel today! God rained fire and brimstone. Where the body is, there too will the vultures gather. But Jesus’ point is that he loves us, and he really wants us to be ready for him when he comes, so we can be with him for eternity. And this is the point of the first reading too: we are ready for Jesus if we live a life of love. To love is to live according to his commandments: this is the commandment which you have heard since the beginning, to live a life of love. This is interesting for us: Jesus says that the ten commandments are the ten basic of love.
So do you remember what they are? I am the LORD your God: you shall not have strange Gods before me. This means Jesus asks us to put him before anything and everything: because the desires we have for unending good, unfailing love and perfect beauty are only found in God. No one else can give this.
You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain. So I don’t swear with God’s name, or tell lies while swearing to tell the truth on a bible.
Remember to keep holy the LORD’S day. Ie Sunday 1) mass and 2) rest.
Honor your father and your mother. Why? Because they are like God to us. Just like God, they sacrifice themselves to provide everything we need for life.
You shall not kill. This means we cannot take innocent life: this includes murder, euthanasia, abortion and suicide. Being a soldier or police officer is different: these are noble vocations where people lay down their life to protect us.
You shall not commit adultery. Here Jesus asks us to do no sexual stuff outside of the marriage of a man and woman. And even in marriage, just like everyone else, the couple are called to chastity. In other words, not to sleep with the other for what I get out of it – but rather to give myself to the other and receive them as a gift. This is one of the most beautiful aspects of Christianity: that in married life I know I will not be used by the other, but rather that they will lay down their life as a gift for me. Jesus knows this one can be hard to live – but he says to us: don’t be afraid. You are infinitely loved by God: he loves you, and will help you, just like he helps all of us. So ask him to help you, and if you need ask others.
You shall not steal. That’s pretty obvious.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour. In other words Jesus asks us to never lie. Ever. White lies are lies. If I tell lies then I bring ugliness into the world – and we risk having a reputation for being someone who is untrustworthy. And we lack integrity. The world needs the light of truth that you can bring.
You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife. And 10.You shall not covet your neighbour’s goods. In other words, don’t be jealous of what others have. Jesus asks these for two reasons:- when we are jealous of someone, suddenly it is easier to hurt them; and I become so miserable I don’t notice the things I have that they don’t.
So to conclude: Christianity is how God sets us free to be who we truly are: to love and be loved perfectly as we desire. It is also the way that, when we fall and don’t do this, he catches us and heals us through the sacraments – especially holy mass and confession. So let us pray together: let us ask God to heal our wounds, fill our hearts with his love, and live these basics of a life of love. Amen.