We pause for a moment to pray in solidarity for the tragic victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.....especially for the untold number of friends and relatives in the NY metro area who are suffering.........for the dead, Requiem et Pacem.!
Imagine a perfect world. Easier yet, imagine what our own perfect world would look like. Perhaps, if you like luxury cars, one day you would look out your window and find your "dreammobile" sitting in your driveway with a big red bow on it.
Perhaps your dream world would be no dishes to clean. You could have a wonderful banquet with all of your favorite guests, living and dead, celebrity or long lost friend; any makeup whatsoever that you could dream of.
The kids would always play "nice", and bring home straight "A" report cards to boot. College funds? Forgettaboughtit...........full scholarship to the best "Ivy League" schools.
Oh yes, and the family dog. What dream could be complete without the family pet. He/She never sheds, never "begs" for food and takes care of cleaning up after themselves. 'Nuff said.
That image for us, whatever we conjure could be the Garden of Eden.
Jacob de Backer ca. 1555, Antwerp, Belgium - ca. 1585, Antwerp, Belgium School: Flemish
The Garden of Eden is the subject of our first reading from Genesis and is a simple way of presenting paradise to us, in a way that we can understand today as easy as early biblical man could thousands of years ago. The point is that Adam and Eve, our first parents, had it all. They lived in a beautiful garden, surrounded by interesting creatures and had wont for nothing. God was in their midst and he gave them perfect freedom and just one simple rule to follow: do not eat of the "Tree of Knowledge". Why? Because it would corrupt them and ruin their perfect relationship with Him forever.
As we move into our first full week of lent..........first let us recall our mortifications: fasting, penance and almsgiving. Let us renew our resolve. If our resolve is weak than let us completely renew our resolve by taking a different approach this week. If we gave up sweets and this has failed then let us promise to pray more every day (rosary, novena, quiet time set aside for private prayer). If prayer hasn't worked than perhaps almsgiving: let us volunteer at the "soup kitchen" or habitat for humanity one weekend. You get the point. Mortify ourselves to be in stronger communion with Him, the Christ.
Finally (I have to be brief today), let us remember that Christ renews all things in us. All things!
St. Paul explains to us in the proclamation from Romans today that Jesus literally reverses the effects of Original Sin. What Adam has failed in doing (or not doing) Christ has succeeded in accomplishing. "It is finished (complete)", we hear Our Lord say in John's Gospel, when he hands over His Spirit and dies on the cross (Jn 19:30).
Bible Quote Here
Jesus' perfect obedience nullifies Adams perfect disobedience, therefore we are called to salvation by his eternal, profound act of charity; this alone merits our call. There is nothing you or I can do to merit eternal salvation, the heavenly kingdom or our "Garden of Eden" ourselves. God did it for us. Then, now and forever.
We need only to love Him beyond all else, and learn to live in communion with him and each other.