The Pastor's Column

Fr. Lara's Lines

The Old and the New Law

The Ten Commandments are ten statements or laws given by God to Moses at Mount Sinai. These laws were kept by the Hebrews and all their descendants in their way of living. By the time of Jesus, the Jewish people were very familiar with Ten Commandants (the Decalogue); they even had developed a whole set of rules based on these laws. We still keep the Ten Commandments as a basis for our behavior. In fact, the most common code of the moral law for Christians is the Ten Commandments. You probably remember studying them when you were in school, CCD, or religious education. Still now, teachers and catechists ask children to memorize them. It is a good thing for children to memorize the Ten Commandments, but it is equally important to understand what they mean.

In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus gives us a glimpse of the deeper meaning of the Ten Commandments. Jesus teaches that keeping the commandments is not enough for eternal life. These natural laws are the basis for a moral life, but there is something else we need to do for a saintly life. Jesus is not dismissing the old law, the Decalogue; rather he is fulfilling it with a new law. Jesus is the new law because he is the fulfillment of the promises of God. Jesus wants to go above and beyond the natural law. The new law is the law of love. He doesn’t want us to “only” abide by the rules; he wants us to actively love one another, seeking the good of our neighbor. Go back and read the Ten Commandments again this week, and reflect on some of the ways you are going above and beyond the natural law in loving God, your neighbor, and yourself.

Annual Catholic Appeal
During this weekend, parishes around the archdiocese are participating in the Annual Catholic Appeal. This appeal is an opportunity to share our financial gifts in order to help provide education, ministry, and services throughout our community, our archdiocese, and the world. It is an opportunity to be part of the change; it is an opportunity to make a difference in the world.

We have been blessed by God in many different ways and we are called to share those blessings with others. No monetary gift is too small; we all can contribute something to our mission as Catholic Church. Part of what is collected goes to programs established to help those in critical need. For instance, the appeal helps Catholic Relief Services to assist people affected by natural disasters, illness, wars, and famine throughout the world. The appeal also helps people around the archdiocese. Part of the proceeds goes to educational and pastoral programs. The archdiocese, led by Cardinal Cupich, wants to make sure everyone has the means to know and love God in their local communities.

The appeal also helps our parish community. Saint Catherine Labouré parish is always looking for ways to improve our parish and to support our programs and ministries. The appeal helps us to support Catholic education, faith formation, and community life ministries and programs. Each pledge makes a difference! All parish communities participate in the campaign and the gifts of many enable our parishes, schools, and ministries to deliver needed services.

The Annual Catholic Appeal theme, “Come, follow me... and heal our world,” was selected to remind us to continue to answer Jesus’ call to follow Him in thought, word and deed by providing the necessary contributions to fund ministries and services to share God’s love with many others in our parish and our archdiocese. Each of us is called to share our gifts in support of the Church. We must first support our parish and then our archdiocese and the Church throughout the world. The Annual Catholic Appeal of the Archdiocese of Chicago is a very effective way to support ministry outside of our parish boundaries, as well as to support the services that the archdiocese provides to our parish. Thank you for your prayerful consideration and generous response.

Fr. Lara