February 10, 2019 – Liturgical Ruminations by Fr. Pat

Last week we started out by reflecting on God’s joy in creating the world. This week let us look at how God’s love continued to be shared with the world.
So…let’s look at Adam and Eve. When you hear their names, what do you think of? Many people think of the “apple” that caused them to sin. Then, when they think of the “apple,” they think of their expulsion from Eden. The whole account points to God’s punishment for their actions. Adam and Eve’s actions were so grave that they affected all of humanity. That pristine relationship was broken because Adam and Eve thought that they didn’t need God. If they had the knowledge of the gods, like the Serpent claimed, they would not need the Lord. With their expulsion, Adam and Eve, along with the rest of humanity would suffer the pains of life. Because of their actions, the union that God planned from the very beginning would be flawed. There would always be an obstacle because of the sin. Jesus would pray later in His Ministry that all might be one, just as We are one. His Death and Resurrection will bring that reality about (but I am ahead of myself).

We have a separation. We have an expulsion. We have a punishment. However, the actions of our original parents did not stop God’s love for the world. He would continue to be there throughout the ages. What if the expulsion from the Garden was not actually a punishment, but a blessing? Not discounting the theme of punishment altogether, what if God wanted to teach humanity how to have a true relationship? The act of expulsion could be seen as an act of love.

In the Garden Adam and Eve would not really understand or know how to have a relationship of any kind, let alone an inti-mate relationship with God. They physically could not have that type of relationship that God intended. They had all their needs met. They didn’t have to think about anything, because they had all the resources that God could give. They didn’t have to think. They didn’t have to work. It was all there for them. They had the resources but not the knowledge to use them. By expelling them from the Garden, maybe God was making them learn how to have a relationship with people. By living through life’s experiences, they would learn how to listen to, work with, and live with other people. By forcing them to live Life, they would learn how to have a relationship with the Lord.

I would like to close by asking everyone to think how we learn about life. At first, we imitate others when we don’t know what to do. By looking at other people and their personalities, we compare and contrast. If I should say I like carrots and not broccoli, it would be easy to barter, for example, with others, especially if they liked broccoli and not carrots. That relationship is based on a mutual likes or dislikes. At work, in the store, or at other places in life, we look at the people that we have to interact with. We com-pare and contrast them to ourselves. There are people that we like or dislike because of who they are. There are things in common or not in common.

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