Maybe it’s not the best choice for Valentine’s Day, but today I’d like to reflect on Adam’s pathetic response to God after he ate the fruit from the forbidden tree. There are so many things that I could write about from today’s Mass readings. First, there is God’s promise of a savior that will redeem us from evil. This verse is known as the “protoevangelium” (Gn 3:15) and is one of the most important verses in the Bible. Next, in the gospel (Mk 8:1-10) we read the miraculous story of Jesus feeding the four thousand. The miracle performed by Christ is a foreshadowing of how He would institute the Sacrament of the Eucharist, which provides us with a taste of Heaven on earth!
With those themes to choose from, I don’t know what is making me write about Adam’s excuse. I guess that there’s just something so familiar about it that it really hits close to home. To refresh your memory, after being confronted by God about eating the forbidden fruit, Adam’s response is “The woman whom you put here with me–she gave me fruit from the tree, so I ate it.” (Gn 3:12) It appears that not only is Adam blaming Eve, but he is also blaming God for putting her there! That really takes a lot of guts. Instead of owning up to what he did, Adam tries to put the blame on everyone else.
When I read this, my first reaction is outrage that Adam could be so cowardly. As I thought more about this I realized that I have done the same thing many times in my life. “I know I should forgive this person, but it’s really their fault because they won’t accept my apology”…”I know I should be kind to so-and-so, but they’re just so nasty that I can’t”…”I shouldn’t have gotten mad at my wife, but she really provoked me”…”I know that the Church teaches that artificial birth control is wrong, but they need to get out of the dark ages and change with the times”, etc.
I could go on, but I’m sure you get the idea. We need to be responsible for our own sinful actions. The devil can tempt us all day long, but he can’t make us sin. We are responsible for our own sins and will have to answer for them someday. A good first step would be to ask for The Lord’s forgiveness in the Sacrament of Confession. By doing that, we will also receive the grace to avoid sin in the future. Of course we’ll stumble from time to time, but as long as we take responsibility for our actions and seek God’s forgiveness we’ll be ok.