The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart

Today’s first reading spells out the ten commandments.

1. I am the LORD your God: you shall not have strange Gods before me.
2. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
3. Remember to keep holy the LORD’S Day.
4. Honor your father and your mother.
5. You shall not kill.
6. You shall not commit adultery.
7. You shall not steal.
8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.

It’s good to listen to them. It’s better to act on them. Better yet to take them to heart, that is, to integrate them into our lives so that they become natural, a part of us. That’s what the Gospel is about today, and it insists that we are meant to foster the kind of rich soil that is required for the commandments to really take root in our lives, to really be enfleshed by our words and actions and even thoughts. The psalmist praises God for the commandments because they give him direction, a road map with God himself as the destination. We ought to join with the psalmist, for, like his, our hearts ought to rejoice at God’s commands which are “more precious than gold.”