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S

ection

T

wo

T

he

T

en

C

ommandments

“Teacher, what must I do . . . ?”

2052

“Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?”

To the young man who asked this question, Jesus answers first by

invoking the necessity to recognize God as the “One there is who

is good,” as the supreme Good and the source of all good. Then

Jesus tells him: “If you would enter life, keep the commandments.”

And he cites for his questioner the precepts that concern love of

neighbor: “You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, You

shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father

and mother.” Finally Jesus sums up these commandments posi­

tively: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

1

2053

To this first reply Jesus adds a second: “If you would be

perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will

have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

2

This reply does

not do away with the first: following Jesus Christ involves keeping

the Commandments. The Law has not been abolished,

3

but rather

man is invited to rediscover it in the person of his Master who is

its perfect fulfillment. In the three synoptic Gospels, Jesus’ call to

the rich young man to follow him, in the obedience of a disciple

and in the observance of the Commandments, is joined to the call

to poverty and chastity.

4

The evangelical counsels are inseparable

from the Commandments.

2054

Jesus acknowledged the Ten Commandments, but he also

showed the power of the Spirit at work in their letter. He preached

a “righteousness [which] exceeds that of the scribes and Phari­

sees”

5

as well as that of the Gentiles.

6

He unfolded all the demands

of the Commandments. “You have heard that it was said to the

men of old, ‘You shall not kill.’ . . . But I say to you that every one

who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment.”

7

1

Mt

19:16-19.

2

Mt

19:21.

3 Cf.

Mt

5:17.

4 Cf.

Mt

19:6-12, 21, 23-29.

5

Mt

5:20.

6 Cf.

Mt

5:46-47.

7

Mt

5:21-22.

1858

1968

1973

581