There are different ways in which we can receive God’s word. We can accept it fruitfully and joyfully or with resentment and frustration. That’s the meaning of the parable in today’s gospel.
The Ten Commandments are God’s word to his people and they are part of his Covenant with them. He was to be their God and they were to be his people. God would guide, protect and love them: and they in return were asked to follow his will as manifested in the Ten Commandments. Throughout the Old Testament people responded to the Commandments in different ways.
Those Ten commandments are still God’s will for us today. How do we respond to them? Even very good people at times yearn for what they think is a greater freedom, to have the liberty to do what they want rather than what they should.
This makes me think of the astronauts who walk in space. What an exhilarating experience of freedom that must be. And yet for survival the astronaut has to be confined within a space suit, which is a protection against an extremely hostile environment, and he has to be tethered by a lifeline to the spaceship. Rather than inhibiting freedom, the space suit and the lifeline are indispensable for allowing it.
God’s Commandments are not an inhibition. Rather they are a condition for true freedom which allows us to fulfil our destiny. They are more than a protection against a hostile environment. They are a real lifeline from God himself. The example and witness of all the saints teach us that God’s commandments are revealed to us so that we may respond fruitfully and joyfully.