Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wednesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

(II Kings 22:8-13.23:1-3; Matthew 7:15-20)

A very old television drama tells the story of a man who leaves his native place to read every book in the Library of Congress. When he returns, he gives a report on the wisdom he has learned. An anticipative crowd gathers to listen to the man’s discoveries. “In sum,” he says, “this is the wisdom of the world: “I am the Lord, your God; you shall not have strange gods before me. Do not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day...”

In a real sense the Ten Commandments summarizes all of the Old Testament and, indeed, “the wisdom of the world.” The unnamed king in the first reading today, who has the perspicacity to recognize the magnitude of the newly found “book of the law,” rightfully tears his garments after hearing its contents. It is not that the law is something forgotten and remembered, but that it is encountered for the first time and mesmerizes its listeners with the scope of its promises.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, in imitation of the patriarchs of the early Church, bases its moral section on the Ten Commandments. Of course, the contents have to be expanded and commented upon, but still it has all the rudiments of living in a way that brings justice to the world, peace to the soul, and glory to God.