Pope Francis turned his attention to the Ninth and Tenth Commandments this week. He said that the injunctions “You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife… You shall not covet your neighbour’s goods” are more than the last Commandments. “They are the fulfilment of the journey through the Decalogue, and arrive at the heart of everything which is delivered to us therein.” Noting that they are already contained in the Commandments on adultery and stealing, Pope Francis said the Ninth and Tenth indicate “the confines of life, the limit over which a person destroys themself and their neighbour, spoiling their relationship with God.” The Pope said the last two Commandments are united by the common root of “evil desires” that lurk in the human heart. Jesus, he said, teaches that all sin is ultimately born of covetousness (cf. Mk 7:23). He said the Decalogue similarly points out that the heart must be free. “God’s precepts can be reduced to the beautiful façade of a life that remains a slave’s existence and not one of sons and daughters.” The ten commandments teach us how to live rightly with one another and with God, and show us our need for a change of heart. “We must let our mask be taken off by these commandments about desire, because they show us our poverty so as to bring us to a life of holy humility.” “It is futile to think of purifying our heart through a titanic effort of the will. We must open ourselves to a relationship with God, in freedom and in truth.” 


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