5th Commandment-"You shall not murder"
"I've never murdered someone." A young confirmand told me recently while covering this commandment. This mindset is very typical. "I've never gotten a knife out and killed someone in cold blood, so mark this one off as accomplished." We think we can go home and shower up because we at least have 1 commandment down!
However, the catechism tells us, to not "hurt or harm our neighbor in his body, but help and support him in every physical need." The command is not just about "killing" but it is all about hurting our neighbor with words, actions, or even thoughts (that stinks)! On top of that if our neighbor is in need and we DO not help, then we are just as guilty as if we did pull out the knife and brutally murder our neighbor!
As Luther says:
"It is just as if I saw some one navigating and laboring in deep water [and struggling against adverse winds] or one fallen into fire, and could extend to him the hand to pull him out and save him, and yet refused to do it. What else would I appear, even in the eyes of the world, than as a murderer and a criminal?"
This is very important this time of year to remember. Many of us are thinking of ways that we can help our neighbor and if you live in a snowy area, opportunities are everywhere to help your neighbor by shoveling. In the same way, food pantries are in dire need for food, shelters need volunteers, and families are in need of clothing. Look up your local churches that use their food pantries as a ministry (body and soul) and provide a little help this year so that we do not "murder" our neighbor by NOT helping.
May God grant his forgiveness to us all with this commandment!
Homework: NONE, fulfill your vocation of family and friends and get off the computer!!! Go to worship, invite your friends, and receive the sacrament. What an awesome time!