His Holiness Pope Francis turned his attention to the Ninth and Tenth Commandments at the Wednesday General Audience. The Pontiff said the injunctions – “You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife… You shall not covet your neighbour’s goods” – are more than the last Commandments. “They are the fulfillment of the journey through the Decalogue, and arrive at the heart of everything which is delivered to us therein.”

As reported by Vatican news, The Pontiff said the last two Commandments are united by the common root of “evil desires” that lurk in the human heart.  Jesus, he said, teaches that all sin is ultimately born of covetousness (cf. Mk 7:23). He said the Decalogue similarly points out that the heart must be free. “God’s precepts can be reduced to the beautiful façade of a life that remains a slave’s existence and not one of sons and daughters.” His Holiness Pope Francis said the Ten Commandments teach us how to live rightly with one another and with God, and show us our need for a change of heart. “We must let our mask be taken off by these commandments about desire, because they show us our poverty so as to bring us to a life of holy humility.”

Finally, His Holiness Pope Francis said those who live the Commandments with humble, open hearts will be blessed. “It is they who know how to show compassion and mercy to others, because they have felt it within themselves.”