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Life in Christ

499

2055

When someone asks him, “Which commandment in the

Law is the greatest?”

8

Jesus replies: “You shall love the Lord your

God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your

mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second

is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two

commandments hang all the Law and the prophets.”

9

The Deca­

logue must be interpreted in light of this twofold yet single com­

mandment of love, the fullness of the Law:

The commandments: “You shall not commit adultery, You

shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and

any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence:

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no

wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the

law.

10

The Decalogue in Sacred Scripture

2056

The word “Decalogue” means literally “ten words.”

11

God revealed these “ten words” to his people on the holy moun­

tain. They were written “with the finger of God,”

12

unlike the oth­

er commandments written by Moses.

13

They are pre–eminently

the words of God. They are handed on to us in the books of

Exo-

dus

14

and

Deuteronomy.

15

Beginning with the Old Testament, the

sacred books refer to the “ten words,”

16

but it is in the New Cove­

nant in Jesus Christ that their full meaning will be revealed.

2057

The Decalogue must first be understood in the context of

the Exodus, God’s great liberating event at the center of the Old

Covenant. Whether formulated as negative commandments, pro­

hibitions, or as positive precepts such as: “Honor your father and

mother,” the “ten words” point out the conditions of a life freed

from the slavery of sin. The Decalogue is a path of life:

If you love the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and

by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his

ordinances, then you shall live and multiply.

17

8

Mt

22:36.

9

Mt

22:37-40; cf.

Deut

6:5;

Lev

19:18.

10

Rom

13:9–10.

11

Ex

34:28;

Deut

4:13; 10:4.

12

Ex

31:18;

Deut

5:22.

13 Cf.

Deut

31:9, 24.

14 Cf.

Ex

20:1-17.

15 Cf.

Deut

5:6-22.

16 Cf. for example

Hos

4:2;

Jer

7:9;

Ezek

18:5-9.

17

Deut

30:16.

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