Thank you for this visit. Before going to the Piazza, I wanted to greet you. You will follow the audience in the Piazza with the big screen; we will all be united. Thank you for this visit. I assure you that I pray for you and I ask you to pray for me. Now I invite you to pray the Madonna together.
Recite Ave Maria
CATECHESIS OF THE HOLY FATHER
Catechesis on the Commandments. 2: "Ten Words" to live the Covenant
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
This hearing takes place in two places: here, in the square, and in Paul VI Hall there are more than 200 sick people who follow the hearing with the big screen. Together we form a community. With applause, we say hello to those in the Chamber.
Last Wednesday we began a new cycle of catechesis on the commandments. We have seen that the Lord Jesus did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it. But we will have to understand this perspective better.
In the Bible the commandments do not live for themselves, but are part of a relationship, a relationship. The Lord Jesus did not come to abolish the Law, but to complete it. And there is that relationship of the Covenant  between God and his People. At the beginning of chapter 20 of the book of Exodus we read - and this is important -: "God pronounced all these words" (v. 1).
It seems like an opening like any other, but nothing in the Bible is trivial. The text does not say: "God pronounced these commandments", but "these words". The Jewish tradition will always call the Decalogue "the Ten Words". And the term "decalogue" means just that.  Yet they are in the form of laws, objectively they are commandments. Why, then, does the sacred author use the term "ten words" right here? Because? And does not he say "ten commandments"?
What is the difference between a command and a word? The command is a communication that does not require dialogue. The word, on the other hand, is the essential means of the relationship as dialogue. God the Father creates by his word, and his Son is the Word made flesh. Love feeds on words, and so does education or collaboration. Two people who do not love each other can not communicate. When someone speaks to our heart, our loneliness ends. He receives a word, gives communication and the commandments are words of God: God communicates himself in these ten words, and awaits our response.
Another is to receive an order, another is to perceive that someone tries to talk with us. A dialogue is much more than the communication of a truth. I can tell you: "Today is the last day of spring, warm spring, but today is the last day". This is a truth, it is not a dialogue. But if I tell you: "What do you think of this spring?", I begin a dialogue. The commandments are a dialogue. Communication is realized for the pleasure of speaking and for the concrete good that is communicated among those who love each other through words. It is a good that does not consist in things, but in the same people who reciprocally give themselves in dialogue "(cf. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 142).
But this difference is not an artificial thing. Let's look at what happened at the beginning. The Tempter, the devil, wants to deceive man and woman on this point: he wants to convince them that God has forbidden them to eat the fruit of the tree of good and evil to keep them submissive. The challenge is this: the first rule that God has given to man, is the imposition of a despot who prohibits and forces, or is the care of a father who is taking care of his children and protects them from self-destruction? Is it a word or is it a command? The most tragic, among the various lies that the snake says to Eve, is the suggestion of an envious deity - "But no, God is envious of you" - of a possessive deity - "God does not want you to have freedom". The facts show dramatically that the snake lied (cf. Gen 2: 16-17; 3.4-5), made believe that a word of love was a command.
Man is facing this crossroads: does God impose things on me or take care of me? Are his commandments just a law or do they contain a word, to take care of me? God is master or Father? God is Father: never forget this. Even in the worst situations, think that we have a Father who loves us all. Are we subjects or children? This fight, both inside and outside of us, occurs continuously: a thousand times we have to choose between a slave mentality and a mentality as children. The commandment is from the master, the word is from the Father.
The Holy Spirit is a Spirit of sons, he is the Spirit of Jesus. A spirit of slaves can only accept the Law in an oppressive way, and can produce two opposite results: either a life made up of duties and obligations, or a violent reaction of refusal. All Christianity is the passage from the letter of the Law to the Spirit that gives life (cf. 2 Cor 3: 5-17). Jesus is the Word of the Father, it is not the condemnation of the Father. Jesus came to save, with his Word, not condemn us. It is seen when a man or a woman has lived this passage or not. People realize if a Christian reasons as a son or a slave. And we ourselves remember if our educators took care of us as fathers and mothers, or if they only imposed rules on us. The commandments are the path to freedom, because they are the word of the Father that makes us free on this journey. The world does not need legalism, but care. He needs Christians with children's hearts.  He needs Christians with children's hearts: do not forget this.
SOURCE Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation
Greetings in Various Languages: