Commentary on the Gospel of

Paulson Veliyannoor, CMF - Claretian Publications Philippines

Chicken or Egg?

When it comes to the Commandments and the Beatitudes, some Christians have the same difficulty as we have in deciding if chicken or egg comes first. Here are some insights to help us decide. The Ten Commandments are all about “doing”; but the Beatitudes are primarily about “being”. It is our being that comes first; doing flows from our being. In other words, what we do is determined by who we are. Many Christians look tired, bored, and bereft of joy, precisely because they predicate their faith on this laborious dos and don’ts without having discovered the love that makes it possible. It is hard to keep doing stuff when it does not flow from our being. To paraphrase an insight from theologian James Alison, Christian faith is not about doing good, it is not even about being good; it is all about being loved! Once we realize that we are loved “no matter what”, our self turns noble (Beatitudes) and right actions simply flow from us (Commandments).


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