Saint for the day: Scholastica (c. 380 – February 10, 542)
Genesis 3:1-8 – Psalm 32 – Mark 7:31-37
“Open our hearts, O Lord, to listen to the words of your son. (Today’s ‘Gospel Acclamation.’)
Here are the things we need to focus on today: Sin/guilt; fear; being opened; speaking; and not trying to hide from God!
Lots of people grow up with a not-so-subtle push to “succeed.” I don’t recall any of that in my growing up years. I don’t think that my folks ever laid a burden of guilt on me or tried to use coercion to push me in any particular direction. In fact, I credit my parents with giving me the freedom to allow my hidden self to grow strong and my creative and artistic abilities to blossom. When I made known my desire to enter the Dominicans after graduating from high school they supported me even though I’m sure they were thinking of what my older brother had done years earlier when he entered the seminary but only stayed a couple of years. I am blessed to have had loving parents who allowed me to grow in a good, Catholic home and pursue my dreams to follow the Lord as a Dominican Brother.
So what happened to Adam and Eve? I think they wanted to skip the growing up phase and get right into the business of getting out there on their own. I think we know the story well enough: they got out but I don’t think it was really what they were hoping for! They were trying to become like God by disobeying Him rather than by seeking Him. They were under the impression that – rather then enjoying all that God had given them, they could bypass “the law” and skip right to the top and beyond! In some sense, all of us are given a “Garden of Eden” time when we are small children and we have to be patient with that time and let it begin to teach us the ways of life. We have to remember that we’re not in a game of “Monopoly” and we not in a race to see who can amass the most of whatever it is we think we need. The Scripture passage that comes to mind: “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all this will be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33) The irony of the Creation Story is that Adam and Eve really did have everything that they could possible want but the devil got in there and brought the first case of doubt, envy and greed which was their downfall. God created a wonderful world for them but the devil tempted them with just one little bite from the apple. Our goal should be to “seek the Lord while He may be found” (Isaiah 55:6) and not to hide from Him out of fear or shame. The Lord wants to “take us aside” to a quiet place to touch and heal our every weakness. He opens our ears to hear of His love and forgiveness and loosens our tongue to speak of His wonders. We must be able – like Job – ”to stand naked before the Lord” (Job 1:21) in order to know and believe that we are made in His image which is more than enough to last our entire lifetime. Amen!