by Fr M Makama
The law-giving by Moses is one of the important milestones in the history of the covenant people. Because it consists of ten commandments this body of law is sometimes referred to as the Decalogue. The commandments mirror the shema in Deuteronomy 6:4-9. Just as the shema is an injunction to the people of God in two parts: Love of God and Love of others, so is the Decalogue. Its contains precepts which refer to God (Exodus 20:1-11) and those which refer primarily to one’s fellow Israelites (Exodus 20:12-17).
The Law comes to the Israelites through Moses and it is meant to guide the people in keeping their relationship with God on the right track. Jesus in the Gospel demonstrates himself to be the New Moses who provides guidance for our relationship with God not through Laws written on stone tablets but through his person. In his person he mediates between God and humanity and it he who offers a sacrifice to God which supplants the former one. In his person he is the temple, the lamb and the priest who offers that sacrifice.
Hence the referral in the gospel to the sanctuary which is his own body. This important element in the God’s plan for our salvation is a manifestation God’s supreme wisdom and power to us who believe but an obstacle to the Jews and madness to the pagans as is stated in the second reading.