March 16th

 3rd Thursday in Lent

Day 14

You are not to covet your neighbor’s house.

What is this? Answer: We are to fear and love God, so that we do not try to trick our neighbors out of their inheritance or property or try to get it for ourselves by claiming to have a legal right to it and the like, but instead be of help and service to them in keeping what is theirs.

You are not to covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, cattle, or whatever is his.

What is this? Answer: We are to fear and love God, so that we do not entice, force, or steal away from our neighbors their spouses, household workers, or livestock, but instead urge them to stay and fulfill their responsibilities to our neighbors.

These commandments are aimed directly against envy and miserable covetousness, so that God may remove the root and cause from which arise all injuries to our neighbors… Above all, he wants the heart to be pure, even though, as long as we live here, we cannot accomplish that. So this commandment remains, like all the rest, one that constantly accuses us and shows just how upright we really are in God’s sight.


But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and food fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy.  James 3:14-17


This commandment is one that I find so easy to forget about in today’s world. People nowadays are enjoying having more material possessions and can get very caught up in wanting what others have. I find myself sometimes thinking about the new car that my neighbor is driving, or that new coat my co-worker is wearing, and wishing, “why can’t I have that?” Having a desire to want or do something is healthy, it helps us to achieve our goals; but always desiring what others have and not realizing what is right in front of us is not good for us. I feel that God is saying that we must look within ourselves to be fully happy. If we are continually coveting what everyone else has, we can never appreciate all that God has given us. We can learn to find joy in our neighbor’s prosperity without feeling envious. Recognizing God’s blessings, love and forgiveness is all we need to keep our hearts full.

Dear Lord, remind us of the blessings you bestow upon us every day. Thank you for sending your Son, Jesus Christ, to teach us about the Commandments. Let us not covet what possessions others have, but instead, let us fill our hearts and minds with love, kindness, and a desire to be more like Jesus.  Amen.

Paula Sulmasy

Every time you drive your car today put a coin in your bank to help combat global climate change.