This week’s reading from Exodus 20 is the final piece of the Ten Commandments (#9 and #10) which summarized means not to covet (desire) your neighbor’s spouse or your neighbors house. Add to that Jesus’ comments on the Commandments from Matthew 22.
It is likely that young people aren’t too threatened by violating the 9th Commandment just yet but the 10th? What a minefield THAT can be, no? It really is not stereotype that young hands are constantly reaching for things they don’t have. At the youngest age it is likely exploring their world. As young people grow up, well, things change don’t they. Advertisements for cereal and toys that they see other kids have can really crank up the desire meter.
What’s our response as big people? That varies a bit, apparently. The other day I saw a post from someone on a Facebook consignment page that was looking for someone to build bunk beds for her child because toys had taken up all the room.
I was going to say that is an extreme example but I’m not sure. Clearly, a case of misplaced priorities when the solution to too many toys is to build a bunk bed. And THAT is the purpose of the 10th Commandment. It isn’t that God doesn’t want us to have stuff but instead God doesn’t want us to let our desire for stuff overtake common sense. Even more importantly, God doesn’t want our desire for stuff to get in our relationship with God (and others).
This isn’t my idea. This is what Jesus is saying in the second reading. In a clever response to a trick question, Jesus says straight out that the two big things are to love God and love neighbor. Which is pretty easy at church maybe but less simple going down the aisle at the store.
As you discuss this week during FAITH5 I’d be curious to hear the feedback you get.
Prayers for all of you as you live out your faith seriously and authentically.