Pope Francis began the Wednesday General Audience on June 20 with a personal greeting to some 200 sick and disabled people gathered in the Paul VI Audience Hall. He told the pilgrims basking with him under the hot sun in St. Peter’s Square that the two groups form a single community.
Turning to his catechesis, Pope Francis continued his reflection on the Commandments, calling them “Ten Words for living the Covenant.” The Scriptures (Exodus 20:1), he said, do not call them “Commandments” but says “God spoke all these words.”
Commandments establish dialogue
They are “objectively commandments”, the Pope said, but the difference between a word and a commandment is important.
He said a command doesn’t require a dialogue.
“The word, however, is an essential means for a relationship based on dialogue. God the Father creates through his word, and the Son is the Word made flesh. Love feeds on words, as does education or collaboration.”
Relationship with Trinity
In giving the Ten Words or Commandments, God continues his covenantal dialogue with His people, inviting them and us to shape our lives in a loving relationship with the Trinity.
“The Commandments are a dialogue,” Pope Francis said. “The difference is not artificial.”
He said the Tempter in the Book of Genesis tries to convince the man and the woman that God is a despot demanding blind obedience. But God, he said, “is a Father that loves us all” and is concerned for the welfare of His children.
Holy Spirit leads on path of freedom
Pope Francis then spoke about how the Holy Spirit helps us to accept and obey God’s law, not out of constraint, but out of the awareness that it is the path to authentic human fulfillment.
“The commandments,” he said, “are the path towards freedom, because they are the Father’s word, which makes us free to walk this path… with the heart of sons and daughters.”