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Threshold of Hope, ($12.00) or about him--His Holiness:
John Paul II, & the Hidden History... (by Carl Bernstein &
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Mount Sinai, the truth of "who God is" became the foundation and guarantee of
the Covenant. Moses enters "the luminous darkness", and there he is given the
Law "written with the finger of God" (Ex 31: 18).
But what is this Law? It is the Law of life and freedom ! At the
Red Sea, the people had experienced a great liberation. They had seen the power and
fidelity of God; they had discovered that he is the God who does indeed set his people
free as he had promised. But now on the heights of Sinai, this same God seals his love by
making the Covenant that he will never renounce. If the people obey his Law, they will
know freedom for ever. The Exodus and the Covenant are not just events of the past; they
are for ever the destiny of all God's people!
The encounter of God and Moses on Mount Sinai enshrines at the heart of our religion the
mystery of liberating obedience, which finds its fulfillment in the perfect obedience of
Christ in the Incarnation and on the Cross. We too shall be truly free if we learn to obey
Ten Commandments are not an arbitrary imposition of a tyrannical Lord. They were written in stone; but before that, they
were written on the human heart as the universal moral law, valid in every time and place.
Today as always, the Ten Words of the Law provide the only true basis for the lives of
individuals, societies and nations. Today as always, they are the only future of the human
family. They save man from the destructive force of egoism, hatred and falsehood. They
point out all the false gods that draw him into slavery: the love of self to the exclusion
of God, the greed for power and pleasure that overturns the order of justice and degrades
our human dignity and that of our neighbor.
If we turn from these false idols and follow the God who sets his people free and remains
always with them, then we shall emerge like Moses, after 40 days on the mountain,
"shining with glory", ablaze with the light of God
To keep the Commandments is to be faithful to God, but it is also to be faithful to ourselves, to our true
nature and our deepest aspirations. The wind which still today blows from Sinai reminds us
that God wants to be honored in and through the growth of his creatures: Gloria Dei,
homo vivens. In this sense, that wind carries an insistent invitation to dialogue
between the followers of the great monotheistic religions in their service of the
human family. It suggests that in God we can find the point of our encounter: in God the
All Powerful and All Merciful, Creator of the universe and Lord of history, who at the end
of our earthly existence will judge us with perfect justice.
Condensed from LOsservatore
Romano, 21 February 2000, at www.vatican.va