March 5, 2017
READINGS: Genesis2: 7-9, 3:1-7
Matthew 4: 1-11
Any Jewish or Christian person with a basic knowledge of the Scriptures is well familiar with this Sunday’s First Reading from Genesis.
Have you ever noticed that no matter how many times we hear this story of the creation, the blessing, and ultimately the sin of Adam and Eve, we tend to almost always be fascinated, captivated, and drawn into it? I have a suspicion that at some level we are aware that we are listening to an often repeated chapter of our own life story.
As Catholic Christians, our baptism has made us a new creation in Christ. The Holy Spirit has breathed the very life of God into our souls. We have been empowered to confidently live our lives as a beloved daughter or son of God. Furthermore our baptism has called us into a unique partnership with God, to continue his work of using, sharing and improving the gift of all creation. There are no limits to this work, this sharing, this partnership, as long as we remember from whom the power comes. Yet this is exactly what our first parents, and WE forget.
In the midst of our delighting in the beauty, the knowledge, the limitless possibilities that the created world, indeed the entire universe, offers to us, we lose sight of our Source, the Lord of Creation. Losing sight of the Real Source invites us to entertain the notion to eat the forbidden fruit, so that we too, can be like God. Adam and Eve, and each one of us have gone to that forbidden place, and have eaten the forbidden fruit. Like our first parents who made loincloths to cover their naked, vulnerable selves, we fashion an ego centered persona to cover our real , fragile, broken selves.
But how amazing is God’s grace, God’s love, God’s forgiveness!
When we become aware of God’s grace, and choose to accept it, we in one form or another voice the words of today’s responsorial psalm ” Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned”
Can we begin this Lent with one heart, and joined hands, and reach back to all humanity, indeed even to Adam and Eve, and humbly and joyfully pray the last two verses of today’s psalm:
“A clean heart create for me O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence, and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
Give me back the joy of your salvation, and a willing spirit sustain in me.
Open my lips, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.”
Have a delightful Lent!
Sr. Gerrie Contento, M.P.F.