It was suggested to me in the last Pastoral Council Meeting that I write in my bulletin column explaining the Ten Commandments. Hence, I started explaining the first Commandment in the bulletin before the Holy Week. Now I would like to continue giving you an idea of what each Commandment of God entails and what is expected of us.

The Second Commandment:

Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord Thy God in Vain

Just as we believe in one God, whom we worship, we should also reverence His name in a special way.

The phrase: “in vain”, has mainly twofold meanings.

  1. Using the name of God to affirm something that is not true. When one swears to a falsehood in God’s name, it is nothing other than calling Him to witness what is not true. Hence, the one who swears falsely in God’s name causes injury not only to other people but also is damaging God’s name. Such a person is cruel to himself/herself and harmful to others.
  2. Swearing in God’s name to commit a sin or a crime is also using God’s name in vain. For example, when a person takes an oath to steal, he/she is using God’s name in vain and it is a sin against justice.

While we are forbidden to use God’s name in vain, we are, at the same time, permitted to use God’s name justly for six purposes:

  1. To confirm something that is said in an oath.
  2. For the purpose of one’s sanctification. For example, while being baptized, we promise in the name of God.
  3. For the purpose of expelling our adversary, the devil. For example, before being baptized, we renounce the devil.
  4. For the purpose of confessing our faith.
  5. For the purpose of sanctifying our work. St. Paul says: “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father” (Colossians 3:17).

Let us continue to reflect

Fr. Arul Joseph V


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