Pastor's Blog - October 31, 2021

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

In the days of Moses, God gave the people of Israel many commandments and statutes to help them know God’s mind and heart, and to follow His ways.  The problem was that in the Torah, the five books traditionally attributed to Moses, there are 613 unique and distinct commandments given by God through Moses to the people.  And so God, knowing our preference for concise summaries and simpler reductions, narrowed the 613 individual laws down to just Ten Commandments, which he gave to Moses on two tablets of stone to deliver to the people of Israel. But God wasn’t finished reducing and summarizing His set of instructions with this Top Ten.

According to Jesus, the Ten Commandments can be summed up and pared down to two great commandments: love God, love neighbor.  It all comes down to two trajectories of love: one pointed vertically to God in the heavens; and the other pointed horizontally to humanity, toward our neighbor. They meet in the form of a cross.  And that is why we make the sign of the cross when we pray. It is why a crucifix is displayed so prominently in our houses of worship. We are a people marked and redeemed by our choice to observe two intertwined commandments, and by the twin beams of love that cross in Jesus, a love that is now given to us in our Holy Communion with the Lord and each other.