FRIDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Genesis 3: 1-8
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. 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 they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
Psalm 32: 1-2, 5-7
Blessed is the one
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one
whose sin the Lord does not count against them
and in whose spirit is no deceit.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
my transgressions to the Lord.”
And you forgave
the guilt of my sin.
Therefore let all the faithful pray to you
while you may be found;
surely the rising of the mighty waters
will not reach them.
You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.
Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him.
After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.
Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
The fall of Adam and Eve reveals the state of brokenness suffered by mankind from disobedience. The deaf man who is healed in the gospel reveals the saving and healing power of Jesus if we go to him in faith.
Adam and Eve were told not to eat the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden but Eve listened to the serpent. Eve spoke with the serpent and made her decision apart from God’s word and without consulting with Adam. Then she gave him the fruit to eat and without remembering God’s word, he also ate and they experienced the consequences.
In them we see the progression of sin both from the steps the enemy takes, and the two ways that humans respond. The enemy questions God’s words, sowing doubt. Then he lies and suggests a course of action to prompt obedience to him rather than to God. The human response is two-fold with equal parts action and inaction. Eve represents action, Adam represents inaction. Both are required for sin to take its full effect. While Eve technically ate the fruit first, Adam did not stop it. He did not stand up for God’s word. Man and woman’s relationship immediately breaks. “Seeing they were naked” means they can no longer be vulnerable with the other or trust one another.
The opposite scenario plays out in the gospel when a group of people bring the deaf man to Jesus. Where Eve listened to the enemy and Adam stood by, instead we see that when the deaf man was unable to hear Jesus, his friends brought him to Christ and interceded on his behalf. While man and woman had to hide themselves physically after engaging with the devil, Jesus opens the senses of the deaf man. While Adam and Eve took in and consumed the fruit offered by the serpent, Jesus gives of His own body, his saliva, to heal.
In both stories, there was overt disobedience to God’s word. It’s clear how Adam and Eve didn’t obey God’s word, but even after the deaf man was healed, Jesus ordered them to keep quiet and they would not. It appears as though it is human nature to question the commands of the Lord and decide what we think is good. Rather than be grateful for what God has given, we want to go on being the ruler of our own lives.
Since we all sin so easily, preferring to be led by our own will, how do we respond when sin?
Adam and Eve hid from the Lord, the deaf man was brought to the Lord. Do we hide in shame or humbly admit our fault? Do we forget or doubt the Lord’s words to us or do we meditate on them and take them to heart?
Keeping the word of God is a protection and a strength for us against the destructiveness of the enemy of our souls. Today, remember that Jesus offers us full restoration through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and gives His body as atonement for sins on the altar. Consider if there is anything that you may be keeping hidden from Jesus and determine to bring it to him to be healed.