February 13, 2020 – Saturday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/021321.cfm)
“No, not me! It was her!” The Man must have pointed his judging finger to the woman who gave him the fruit. Yet, the woman too responded, “Not me either. It was the serpent!” Both of them denied responsibility of eating the fruit and realized that they were naked. Both succumbed to the blame-game to deny full responsibility to their disobedience.
However, what was really the issue in this story? Was it because of eating a desirable fruit? Was it because of the presence of the serpent that tempted them? Or the presence of evil around?
Both of them, the woman and the man, were tempted not just by the desirable fruit to eat. The fruit was only a symbol of a greater temptation. The serpent that was very cunning, engaged the woman in a conversation by asking, “Did God really say that you will die?” It was only an opening of the serpent’s temptation for both man and woman to believe that they can become like God. This means that the temptation was in believing that they will be in complete control of everything. They must have believed too that they did not have everything in paradise. And so the unquenchable desire to have everything must have consumed them. They can only have everything if they too will become like God.
Yet, the moment they tasted the fruit and came to know what is good and what is evil, they too realized their smallness before God. This was how they hid from the Lord God. They knew that they have sinned and that sin led them to fear. Fear is filled with guilt and shame. This is the reason why Adam and Eve were hiding. Their nakedness tells us of their guilt. Yet, their guilt never assumed the responsibility that they have sinned. As a result, they became trapped in the cycle of blaming. Adam blamed Eve. And Eve blamed the Serpent. And perhaps, we as readers, might also blame God for putting the serpent among them.
Because of this, the intimacy between man, woman, and God was shattered. In the same way, man and woman lost their closeness with God. It was them who distanced from God. Thus, sin, without acknowledgment makes us hide yet, it leads to destruction and to death.
However, this is also how God intervenes. God calls us and God continues to find us not to condemn us or to destroy us but to renew us, to recreate us, to give us the fullness of God’s grace and presence. This is how the Gospel tells us also of the heart of Jesus. Jesus felt the hunger of the people. Jesus felt their need to be filled and be satisfied.
That is why, God calls and finds us when we try to hide because of shame and guilt. God does that because as the Gospel said, the “heart of Jesus is moved with pity.”
Let us also remember, when we ty to separate and distance from God, God initiates to come to us to invite us to come closer to Him in humility and to end the cycle of blaming. Thus, let not our fear, guilt and shame prevent us from seeking God’s mercy. God offers the abundance of grace through the sacraments, let us come and be renewed, be recreated and be given the fullness of God’s grace. Hinaut pa.