Saturday, February 12, 2011


Found out, Adam and Eve start making excuses. Adam blames the wife (and it has been way ever since), Eve blames the devil, the devil tries to slink away to gloat: dissension and blame has entered the world.  This passage from Genesis is very ironic - they wanted to be like God, but when they are caught they will not step up act like gods, taking responsibility for what they have done.  They do not argue their case or rebel, but like bold children knowing they have done wrong they try to get out of trouble by passing the buck.  Unfortunately for them God happens to be omniscient, so he knows what has happened.  His question "Where are you?" was their golden opportunity to come clean and who knows if they had, would the punishment been as harsh?  Who's to know?  But they don't - gone is human dignity with human responsibility.

The devil gets it first - crawler at the start, he'll be a crawler forever.  Woman will now have pain in childbirth and while she will love her husband, she will fall victim to male pride and will be lorded over - a feminist statement in Genesis which tells us that the oppression of women by men is wrong, but a result of the fall - that wonderful bond is wounded.  The man too will suffer: now he will have to work hard with little return - the world will now be a harsh place and in the end: death.

It is an awful curse.  You might ask why God did this - surely he should have forgiven them seeing as he is the God of love?  He does, he provides for mercy, we will look at it in a minute.  But he must also respect their free will.  Adam and Eve chose to do what they did - they disobeyed him, they wanted to become like God, so now he respects that decision - let them be gods.  But seeing as they are not divine, they do not have what he has, they cannot transform the world into a paradise nor cheat death.  Now they are in charge and suddenly their powerlessness is revealed. 

But there is mercy.  As he passes sentence, God speaks of the Redeemer in 3:15.  This verse is the Proto-evangelium, the first Gospel, the prophecy of the coming of Christ, and also a reference to Our Lady, the new Eve who will be conceived sinless.  The tragedy has a happy ending in Christ and, most wonderfully, an even better outcome.  "O happy fault", St Augustine sings, "that merited such a Redeemer!" 

God did not abandon them, and this is a consolation.  As they prepare to leave Eden, he clothes them: a symbol that he loves them dearly and is with them even in the midst of the world.  Eden is closed, but outside, in the wilderness, he is present and there lies the promise of a return.


  1. Good caption for that picture: Angel: ''Excuses, excuses. Get out.''

  2. Brilliant! Caption competition!

    Adam: Oh no, Eve, we left the tap running....

  3. Leaving the Bank, Adam and Eve realised that the mortgage renegotiations did not go as well as they had hoped.

  4. Angel: hold on, we forgot about the circumcision. I brought my own sword - this won't hurt a bit.