Creation The Fall Of Man PT2

Creation The Fall Of Man PT2

Last week we covered the creation of the material world on days one through six. We saw how God rested on day number seven, not because he needed to rest, but because it was a day of worship the day where Adam and Eve were called to take all that God has created and offer it back to him. Today, we look at Genesis chapter three and the fall of man and the resulting punishment that comes to all of us through that original sin. This week, we are offering a special prayer called the miraculous metal prayer. Together let us pray. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. O Mary conceived without sin. Pray for us who have recourse to thee. Amen. In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen.


Now this special prayer and the metal and the image that goes along with it, was given to a French nun- Saint Catherine Labouré- by the blessed Virgin Mary, during an apparition to the nun in 1830. In the image, we can see Mary standing upon a globe, crushing the head of the serpent beneath her feet. She stands on the globe as the Queen of heaven and earth, her feet crushing Satan, and it proclaims that Satan and his followers are helpless before her and her son. Now that image and that prayer are really at the heart of our teaching today from Genesis three and the fall of man and the promise of a Savior.

 

Now, again, let me just set the scene for you. We're in the garden of Eden. Adam and Eve are living in original holiness and harmony with one another, with God, and with all of creation.

 

Adam and Eve, are called to care for all that is in the garden. And Adam is called to be the guardian of the garden and his bride Eve. But something happens early in the beginning of Genesis chapter three. A new creature, a new character enters into the garden. In verse one, we are told that it's the subtle serpent that enters the garden. Revelation 12:9, reveals to us that this creature was probably actually not a snake at all, but more like a dragon, the devil, or Satan himself.

 

We read in Revelation 12:9, that the huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who was called the devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth and his angels are thrown down with him.

 

So the first point we want you to take away today is that:

Satan is Real

He was one of God's greatest angels. His name was Lucifer, which means light bearer. He was a great seraph angel. When he heard how God was going to save man, when Satan heard that plan that God had, he used his free will to say, I will not serve. Non serviam. And he, along with one third of his angels, became demons and were thrown down to hell and they roamed the earth. We know this to be true because St. Peter himself says, in his first letter to the early Christians in chapter five verse eight, "Be sober and watch with vigilance: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour." The devil is real. He's not a figment of our imagination. He wants you to be destroyed. He wants you to share in the eternal destiny, that is his. We see the devil in the desert tempting Jesus three times. We see him mentioned throughout the New Testament as well. He is real.

 

Now that day in the garden, the devil was prowling around looking to devour, Adam and Eve, as a way of getting back at God and stopping the plan that he had heard about at the beginning of time. Have you wondered how the devil got into the garden? Who was supposed to be keeping watch of the garden? You guessed it, Adam. Adam fell asleep on the job. He was derelict in his duty. As I said, last week, God called Adam to be the priest of his home, the guardian of the garden of Eden and of his wife Eve. But when we find them in the scriptures, Satan is talking to Eve alone. Adam is nowhere to be found. Or was he? In Genesis 2:16-17, we hear God telling Adam, "that you may eat freely of every tree in the garden, but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it for the day that you do. You shall die." So in Genesis 3:1 the devil speaks words of doubt to Eve. He says, "did God really tell you that you shall not eat of the tree of the garden?" Well, Eve explains the rule that God had given them, which was told to her, obviously by Adam. They knew the rules, and yet they chose to disobey them. Does that sound familiar to you? We call that sin. Once again, in vs 4, Satan cast doubt in Eve. He says, "you will certainly not die for when you eat of it. Your eyes will be opened and you will be like God's knowing good and evil."

 

Interesting question to ponder here....Did Satan actually lie to them? Did they die when they ate the fruit? Were their eyes opened? Temporarily everything he said came to be true, but we have to know that there's a much deeper significance of their choice. What death was going to come to them? Remember Adam and Eve had preter-natural gifts. In our last broadcast we said that those gifts are above the natural realm. Some of those gifts included infused knowledge and intellect, a will, the passions, everything in order. But the tempter was too much for Eve. So in verse six we hear, "that Eve saw the fruit, that it was good for food. It was a delight for her eyes and that it could make her wise. So she took it and she ate it."

 

Here we see our Catholic theology of triple concupiscence. Now don't worry about that big word.

Concupiscence just means, that it's our tendency, as humans, towards sin.

Have you ever had a time where you do the things that you do not want to do like St. Paul says in Romans 7? I know that I have. St. Paul says, "For the good which I will, I do not; but the evil which I will not, that I do." So in verse 6 of Genesis chapter 3, we see this triple concupiscence. First, it says the fruit looked good for food. That's the lust of our flesh, the desire of our flesh. Secondly, the fruit was a delight for her eye. That was the lust of her eyes. Thirdly, she realized that the fruit could make one wise. That was this pride that she had in her life, and that you and I exhibit as well. The lust of the flesh, the lust of our eyes and the pride of life, the triple concupiscence that Eve experienced, and that we experienced as well.

 

Now, we cannot blame Eve alone for committing the original sin. We have to ask ourselves, where was Adam in all of this? And we find our answer in verse 6. "She took the fruit off the tree and she ate it and then gave it to her husband and he ate it." Where was Adam during this whole interaction with Satan? He was sadly right beside her. The whole time he failed to protect her. He failed to protect her from committing original sin. He failed again in his role as protector of his bride, Eve. And he let Satan get the better of her.

 

Now, when Adam and Eve eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge, of good and evil, this action is called the original sin.

Why? Because it comes down to us through our origins or from our original descendants. Adam and Eve, our first parents. Just like in our physical world, we have eye color and hair color, and certain mannerisms that get passed down in our family line. So also original sin is passed down to us.

 

We are deprived of the supernatural gift of sanctifying grace, which is God's life within us and we are born with and inherit the punishment of Adam and Eve.

That's why you and I need the sacrament of baptism. Our baptism frees us from original sin, helps us to go from being a creature of God, to a child of God and receive God's sanctifying grace within our soul. They forgot two of God's divine attributes, which were? Being omniscience, which is all knowing and omnipresent, which is all present. Meaning, you can't run and you can't hide from God, and neither can we. None of us can.

 

God eventually questions them. By asking where are you? Not because he doesn't know, but do they know where they are and what has happened to them? He asks them, "what has happened"? And then eventually the blame game starts. Adam says, in verse 12, "the woman you put here with me, she gave me the fruit and I ate it," as if she forced it in his mouth. He's not taking any responsibility for allowing Satan, first of all, into the garden, and second of all for stopping him from talking to his bride. Then the woman blames the serpent, she said, "the serpent beguiled me and so I ate it."

 

Remember the original holiness we spoke of, that they lived in perfect harmony with God and one another? But now that the original sin was committed, their vertical relationship with God and their horizontal relationship with one another was broken. Vertical and horizontal. If you were to use your hands to out line a Vertical and horizontal relationship, you would have an interesting shape. That shape would be the cross. It's all going to come down to the cross one day, because it will be Jesus' death on the cross that will one day save us and restore our relationship with God and with one another.

 

So what were the consequences of Adam and Eve's original sin?

Well, first they lost the supernatural grace of sanctifying grace, they lost that gift of God's life within them. They lost the right to heaven. They lost that infuse knowledge. Their intellect was darkened. Their will was weakened and they gave into their passions and lost control. Now they will suffer pain that has been multiplied, they will suffer sickness, and death. Eve will suffer childbirth pains that has been multiplied. Adam will suffer toil and hardship and sweat through his work. They will have a greater tendency towards sin, which we called concupiscence. And they are driven out of the garden of Eden.

 

You see the devil tempts them, just like he attempts you and I. He says, you don't have to love God just love yourselves. If it feels good, If it looks good, do whatever you want. Be your own gods, do your own will, which makes us all disobedient to God and to one another. And therefore we're in need of a savior, which should bring us all hope. And that's where hope enters in, in this story.

 

Where can we find that hope of a savior?

Well, it's actually first mentioned in Genesis 3:15. We call this verse, the proto Evangelium.

Proto meaning first, and Evangelium meaning gospel or good news. It's the first good news in Genesis 3:15. Here lies the promise of a future Savior, Jesus Christ, who will come to the earth in the fullness of time. The Jews would know him as the Messiah, the anointed one, the Christ. So we hear God speak to Satan in Genesis 3:15, saying, "I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed. He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel." So let me ask you a question. Who is the woman in this passage? It's none other than the mother of God, Mary. Who is her seed then? We know him to be Jesus. Who crush the head of the serpent by his death on the cross? It's gonna be Jesus. And how will that come to pass? What kind of suffering will he go through? What kind of bruising of his heel will take place? It's the scourging at the pillar. It's the crowning with thorns. It's the nailing to the cross and the eventual death of Jesus on the cross. So if death, chaos, confusion, and disorder entered the world through an Adam and an Eve, new life and new order must be restored by a new Adam and a new Eve. Who do you think that could be? None other than Jesus and Mary.

 

So as we conclude this lesson, let's summarize how that order is restored.

In the old Testament garden of Eden, Adam and Eve took the fruit off the tree, ate of it, and original sin and death entered the world. In the new Testament, in another garden, we call the garden of Gethsemane, there's a new Adam who prepares to give his life, who at the last supper, becomes our food and places himself as our food back onto the wood of the cross, the tree of life on good Friday. And in doing so, he undoes what was done by Adam and Eve. In doing so, Jesus provides away to restore our relationship with God, the Father, and with one another. Again, it comes back to the cross. But what about the new Eve? How can we be so sure that it's Mary? Well, Jesus is the son of God, a hundred percent man, a hundred percent God. And when the fullness of time came, he took on flesh and became a baby. We call this the Incarnation. But in order for God to come down and take on flesh, he needed a human vessel, a human womb to grow within.

 

Now that human womb could not be stained with original sin, it needed to be a, a perfect tabernacle for the perfect Son of God, who knew no sin. Therefore in a sheer act of goodness and love, the blessed Virgin Mary was preserved from original sin at the moment of her conception in the womb of her mother and in view of the future merits of her son's death on the cross. Let me explain. God looked to the future and saw the day that Jesus would die upon the cross. He accepted the offering of Christ, body and blood in advance and went back and saved Mary from original sin.


"How can this be?" You say. Well, let me ask you a question. What's our goal in life? Is it not to get to heaven? How do we, 2000 years later after Jesus' death on the cross, how do we get to heaven? It's by his death on the cross, that saves us in our life today. As it goes to us, it also went back to Mary. We call this privilege given to Mary, the Immaculate Conception. In the Baltimore catechism, it tells us that Mary came into the world full of grace and was never under Satan's power. She was the only one, except for Christ whose soul always turned perfectly to God's holy will. Therefore Mary becomes the new Eve. The devil conquers through a woman named Eve at the beginning of time, and now God conquers through another woman named Mary in the fullness of time. It's through her seed that Satan is destroyed. It is Jesus and his death on the cross that conquer sin and death.

 

This next week, please be sure to read Genesis chapter three in its entirety and allow God to reveal new insights for you. May God continue to bless you as you study your Catholic faith.

 

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