Posted by: livingscripture | February 13, 2009

Fifth Friday of Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day


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.            (Genesis 3, 5-6)


How should we live this Word


The first pages of Genesis present a scene of harmony as nature emerges from chaos and finds divine approval; the man and the woman receive each other in an ecstatic reciprocal gift of self;  their rapport with God is under the sign of trust and nearness. 


Then there comes a violent separation that muddies the waters.  Suspicion creeps in  because of the desire to be the absolute protagonists, to be like God, to depend solely on themselves, on their choices, to decide what is good and what is evil.  It is a temptation that is not alien to us.  Just think about the last events of this epoch when we have witnessed certain arbitrary positions that arrive at deciding whether a person should live or die, and others that bend the laws of nature, violating it with impunity.  adam-eve-hiding


Certainly, it is not evil in itself to seek ‘the tree that is good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom’.  There are undeniable positive aspects that blind and obscure the horizon so that  the sparkle of small gems makes us lose sight of the diamond’s radiance.  Thus we end up by cloaking as pity even a homicide.  The result is that once the sin is committed, we find ourselves naked, exposed to all abuses.  If humans are the ones who decide what is good and what is evil, denying them an objective and transcendent consistency, then all is possible. 


In my pause for silent contemplation today, I will seek to go from denouncing what is wrong around me, to denouncing in myself the circumstances in which I decide good and evil on the basis of what is to my advantage or convenience.


Lord, free me from the subtle pretense to be god in Your place.


The voice of St. Ambrose, Church Doctor


Even the desire for honors arouses worldly power in you and to obtain them, you become proud like Adam.  You try to make yourself like God in the fullness of power, despising the divine precepts and beginning to lose what you have.  In fact, ‘Those who do not have, even that which they have will be taken away’  (Mark 4, 25).

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