Friday, February 10, 2017

“We are the sum total of the decisions we have made.”

“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, in the end, "Thy will be done." All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.” ― C.S. Lewis: (1898 – 1963: was a British novelist, poet, & academic)

Scripture text: (GN 3:1-8)
Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals
that the LORD God had made.
The serpent asked the woman,
"Did God really tell you not to eat
from any of the trees in the garden?"
The woman answered the serpent:
"We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden;
it is only about the fruit of the tree
in the middle of the garden that God said,
'You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.'"
But the serpent said to the woman:
"You certainly will not die!
No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it
your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods
who know what is good and what is evil."
The woman saw that the tree was good for food,
pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom.
So she took some of its fruit and ate it;
and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her,
and he ate it.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened,
and they realized that they were naked;
so they sewed fig leaves together
and made loincloths for themselves.

When they heard the sound of the LORD God moving about in the garden
at the breezy time of the day,
the man and his wife hid themselves from the LORD God
among the trees of the garden.

In the First Readings of today’s and tomorrow’s Masses, we hear of mankind’s Original Sin. Today’s First Reading presents its commission; tomorrow’s, its immediate consequences.

We might reflect upon the fact that it takes six verses in this narrative before the woman commits the original sin. Four things occur beforehand: the serpent asks her a question; she responds; the serpent refutes her response; and the woman reasons her way to the commission of the sin.

Our own sins may not concern the eating of fruit, and a serpent may not be our tempter, but the dynamics between the serpent and the woman are key. The serpent did not motivate the woman to act impulsively. Rather, the serpent used (or rather, abused) reason to sway the woman’s intellect. She freely choose to sin, believing entirely for herself that her sin was a good. We ought to consider these five verses as a sort of examination of conscience for ourselves.

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