Words of Anger or Words of Sadness

Homily for Saturday of the 5th Week in Ordinary TIme

The perspective or lens which we use when reading the continuation of the story of the fall of Adam and Eve is likely to color our interpretation of the statements that God makes. They have sinned. They have disobeyed. I daresay that when we disobeyed our parents, they may have responded with a touch of anger in their voices when they discovered our misdeed. Perhaps most of us have read this story thinking that God responds in anger.

Yet the Gospel tells us that Jesus looks upon the crowd with pity and compassion. We maintain that our God loves us. We usually assert that God wishes our health and wholeness, that God wishes the best for us. If we read the first reading with this image in our minds, perhaps we hear disappointment and sadness if God’s words to Adam.

Adam and Eve must be punished for their disobedience. Though they make excuses for their disobedience, we know full well that these words are empty and meaningless. So God expels them from the Garden. However, before God expels them, God assures them that the love God has for all of us will provide us with an escape clause. We will be readmitted to the Garden because Jesus has born our punishment. Guilty as charged, but exonerated by Jesus’ death.

Our days are filled with news of an infectious disease that has radically altered our way of life. Unfortunately, sin visits the same kind of damage upon our lives. It separates us. It divides peoples. It promotes selfishness and greed. The damage brought about by sin is every bit as contagious as the virus with which we are dealing in society.

This is the brokenness into which Jesus enters with his mercy to heal the wounds of sin. We bring him our woundedness and are healed through the gift of his Body and Blood.

Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator

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