We humans tend to be minimalists. And so, when we are given a rule or a law to follow, we tend to look for a minimalist approach to interpret it in such a way that it doesn’t require much of us. A good example is the Fifth Commandment, “You shall not kill.” If this commandment is simply about refraining from committing murder, few of us have any reason to worry; we will most likely not kill anyone in our lifetime. However, avoiding murder is a minimalist approach to this commandment. If someone were to entrust me with caring for a houseplant while the family goes on vacation, and that person says, “Now, don’t kill my plant while I’m gone,” we could let the plant sit there until the person returns and say, “I did not kill it.” However, the plant may indeed be dead, since we did nothing to nurture and nourish it (such as watering it). In this episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we explore the Fifth Commandment and how it calls us to nurture, protect, and respect all human life.
For more information about the Fifth Commandment, check out the following links: