Saturday, February 14, 2015

Where was Adam? God shelters us by means of the Catholic Church

When Eve partook of the forbidden fruit, Holy Scripture tells us "she also gave some to her husband, who was with her." Does "with her" mean adjacent to her or in the Garden with her? Although it could be both, I would argue for the latter. We are told that "the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals that the LORD God had made." Since he was cunning, I would argue that he would wait until the woman was most vulnerable. If he missed the opportune moment, he might lose for good. He knew that the woman would be more vulnerable when the man was not present.

After being deceiving and eating the forbidden fruit, she took some of the fruit and went and found her husband. We must remember that Adam is the image of God, like Jesus. As we know, Jesus is the Second Adam. Once Adam became aware of what his wife had done, what should he have done? He should have done what Jesus did: Intercede on her behalf, doing whatever was necessary to procure her salvation, even if it included dying for her. The human race did not fall when Eve partook of the forbidden fruit, but when Adam did. Notice, Scripture does not say, "So she took some of its fruit and ate it, and her eyes were opened." No. It was after Adam ate it that Scripture states, "Then the eyes of both of them were opened."

Jesus did what the first Adam did not do: He redeemed us. Now, "blessed is he whose sin is covered. Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt, in whose spirit there is no guile." When reading the responsorial psalm, view it as the Catholic Church speaking. When it says "I," that is the Church, every individual Catholic, speaking in union. "Then I acknowledged my sin to you, my guilt I covered not. I said, 'I confess my faults to the LORD,' and you took away the guilt of my sin." God is our shelter. He does this by the Catholic Church. What He is sheltering us from is damnation, eternal separation from Himself.

Why do I say He shelters us by means of the Catholic Church? Look at our Gospel reading from St. Mark. We know that all Jesus had to do was speak the word, and the deaf-mute would have been healed; therefore, why did He put His finger in the man's ear, spit, touch his tongue, look to heaven, and groan? Jesus was always looking forward to His Passion and Ascension and to the Church He was forming, the Catholic Church. He is telling us that His Church will be a divine body that the finger of God will be with it, that through His Church men's ears would be opened to God's word and men would hear and speak God's word, forgiving sins, interceding on behalf of the human race.

Jesus had taken the man off by himself, away from the crowd; however, after the healing, "He ordered them not to tell anyone." Who is "them"? It must have been His disciples. He told them not to tell anyone, to enforce upon them that they did not have to gloat, to brag, that others would proclaim. This was to teach them humility.

We are in the Kingdom (Garden) with the Second Adam. Although He may not be adjacent to us, we know where to find Him--in the Catholic Church--and we can go to Him when we are tempted, and we can go to Him even when we fall. We know where "Adam" is.

This is a reflection on the biblical readings from Friday February 13, 2015.  See: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/021315.cfm
--Tommy Turner