Paul VI Hall
Wednesday, 28 November 2018
Catechesis on the Commandments, 14-B: The new law in Christ and the desires according to the Spirit.
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
In today's catechesis, which concludes the path on the Ten Commandments, we can use as a key theme that of desires, which allows us to retrace the journey made and summarize the steps taken by reading the text of the Decalogue, always in the light of full revelation in Christ .
We started out of gratitude as the basis of the relationship of trust and obedience: God, we have seen, does not ask for anything before we have given much more. He invites us to obedience to redeem ourselves from the deception of idolatries that have so much power over us. In fact, to seek one's own fulfillment in the idols of this world empties us and enslaves us, while what gives stature and consistency is the relationship with Him who, in Christ, makes us children from his fatherhood (cf. Eph 3,14-16 ).
This implies a process of blessing and liberation, which is true, authentic rest. As the Psalm says: "Only in God does my soul rest: from him my salvation" (Ps 62: 2).
This liberated life becomes the acceptance of our personal history and reconciles us with what, from infancy to the present, we have lived, making us adults and capable of giving the right weight to the realities and people of our lives. On this path we enter into the relationship with the neighbor who, starting from the love that God shows in Jesus Christ, is a call to the beauty of fidelity, generosity and authenticity.
But in order to live this way - that is, in the beauty of fidelity, generosity and authenticity - we need a new heart, uninhabited by the Holy Spirit (cf. Ez 11,19; 36,26). I ask myself: how does this "transplant" of heart, from the old heart to the new heart? Through the gift of new desires (cf. Rom 8: 6) that are sown in us by the grace of God, especially through the Ten Commandments brought to completion by Jesus, as He teaches in the "discourse of the mountain" (cf. Mt 5, 17-48). In fact, in contemplating the life described in the Decalogue, that is a grateful, free, authentic, blessing, adult life, guardian and lover of life, faithful, generous and sincere, we, almost without realizing it, find ourselves before Christ. The Decalogue is his "X-ray", he describes it as a photographic negative that lets his face appear - as in the Holy Shroud. And so the Holy Spirit fertilizes our heart by putting in it the desires that are a gift of his, the desires of the Spirit. To desire according to the Spirit, to desire at the rhythm of the Spirit, to desire with the music of the Spirit.
Looking at Christ we see beauty, goodness and truth. And the Spirit generates a life which, following these desires, triggers hope, faith and love in us.
Thus we discover better what it means that the Lord Jesus did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it, to make it grow, and while the law according to the flesh was a series of prescriptions and prohibitions, according to the Spirit this same law becomes life ( cf. Jn 6:63; Eph 2:15), because it is no longer a norm but the very flesh of Christ, who loves us, seeks us, forgives us, comforts us and in his Body reconciles communion with the Father, lost for the disobedience of sin. And so the literary negativity, the negativity in the expression of the commandments - "do not steal", "do not insult", "do not kill" - that "not" becomes a positive attitude: love, make room for others in my heart, all desires that sow positivity. And this is the fullness of the law that Jesus came to bring us.
In Christ, and only in him, the Decalogue stops being condemned (cf. Rom 8: 1) and becomes the authentic truth of human life, that is, the desire for love - here is born a desire for good, to do good - desire for joy, desire for peace, magnanimity, benevolence, goodness, fidelity, meekness, self-control. From those "no" we pass to this "yes": the positive attitude of a heart that opens with the power of the Holy Spirit.
This is what it is necessary to look for Christ in the Decalogue: to fecundate our heart so that it may be full of love, and open itself to the work of God. When man favors the desire to live according to Christ, then he is opening the door to salvation, which can not but arrive, because God the Father is generous and, as the Catechism says, "he thirsty that we are thirsty for him" (No. 2560).
If it is the evil desires that ruin man (cf. Mt 15: 18-20), the Spirit lays down in our hearts his holy desires, which are the seed of new life (cf. 1 Jn 3,9). New life in fact is not the titanic effort to be consistent with a norm, but new life is the Spirit of God who begins to guide us to its fruits, in a happy synergy between our joy of being loved and his joy to love each other. We meet the two joys: the joy of God to love us and our joy of being loved.
Here is what the Decalogue for us Christians is: to contemplate Christ to open us to receive his heart, to receive his desires, to receive his Holy Spirit.