SIXTH COMMANDMENT MEANS FIDELITY TO EVERY HUMAN RELATIONSHIP, VOCATION – POPE TO BIBLE SOCIETY: NO OTHER BOOK HAS SAME POWER TO TRANSFORM LIVES

A bit of Vatican trivia: October 31 marks the 506th anniversary of the reopening of the Sistine Chapel after the works carried out by Michelangelo Buonarroti in the ceiling vault. (October 31, 1512, All Saints’ Eve)

SIXTH COMMANDMENT MEANS FIDELITY TO EVERY HUMAN RELATIONSHIP, VOCATION

Pope Francis again spoke of the sixth commandment today in his continuing catechesis on the Ten Commandments at the weekly general audiences. He said “the sixth commandment: ‘You shall not commit adultery’ deals specifically with marital fidelity, yet it also speaks to every human relationship and vocation.”

“In the light of Christ,” he said, “we see that all love is meant to be pure, faithful, generous and fruitful. True love enables us to find ourselves by giving ourselves away. Hence, authentic love is always spousal, life-giving and self-sacrificing.”

The Pope explained that, “the undying love of Christ that is the basis of marital fidelity is likewise reflected in the spousal love and spiritual parenthood that mark the vocations to priestly ministry and consecrated virginity.

Continuing, Francis said, “In the mystery of Christ and his love, we come to understand the full meaning of the gift of our human sexuality and the fidelity demanded by the marriage covenant. As men and women, body and spirit, we are called to love in ways that leave no room for lust or promiscuity.”

“The command – ‘You shall not commit adultery’ – is thus an invitation to live fully our original calling to that pure and faithful spousal love revealed in Jesus Christ.”

POPE TO BIBLE SOCIETY: NO OTHER BOOK HAS SAME POWER TO TRANSFORM LIVES

Before the general audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis greeted a delegation from the American Bible Society in the Paul VI Hall.

The American Bible Society’s mission statement is “to transform lives through God’s word,” he noted in his remarks. He encouraged the Society, currently meeting in Rome, “to pursue and even intensify their commitment to that mission.”

The Pope went on to stress that “truly the word of God has the power to transform lives” and, quoting from the Letter to the Hebrews, he said, it is “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword…” He underlined that “no other book has the same power.”

In its word, he continued, “we recognize the Spirit who inspired it: for only in the Spirit can Scripture truly be received, lived and proclaimed, for the Spirit teaches all things and reminds us of all that Jesus said.”

The Pontiff explained to those present that God’s word “is honey, offering the comforting sweetness of the Lord, but also a sword bringing a salutary unrest to our hearts. For it penetrates to the depths and brings to light the dark recesses of the soul. As it penetrates, it purifies.”

The double edge of this “sword”, he said, may at first wound, but it proves beneficial, for it cuts away everything that distances us from God and his love.

The Holy Father noted that God’s word judges thoughts and intentions. “The word of life is also truth and His word ‘creates’ truth in us, dissipating every form of falsehood and duplicity. Scripture constantly challenges us to redirect our path to God.”

”Letting ourselves ‘be read’ by the word of God,” said the Pope, “enables us to become in turn ‘open books’, living reflections of the saving word, witnesses of Jesus and proclaimers of his newness.” (vaticannews)

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