FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT
Jesus, taking Adam and Eve from there graves
READ: Romans 12, 16-19
12 Therefore, just as through one person sin entered the world, and through sin, death, and thus death came to all, because all sinned.
But the gift is not like the transgression. For if by that one person’s transgression the many died, how much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of the one person Jesus Christ overflow for the many. 16 And the gift is not like the result of the one person’s sinning. For after one sin there was the judgment that brought condemnation; but the gift, after many transgressions, brought acquittal. 17 For if, by the transgression of one person, death came to reign through that one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of justification come to reign in life through the one person Jesus Christ. 18 In conclusion, just as through one transgression condemnation came upon all, so through one righteous act acquittal and life came to all. 19 For just as through the disobedience of one person the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of one the many will be made righteous.
For the past few days, we have been focusing primarily on building an awareness of our sin, and resolving to overcome it with God's help. On this first Sunday of Lent, let's take a step back and take a look at the larger story, and our place in it.
Sin entered the world through Adam and Eve. They chose to distrust, and disobey God, and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Whether you take this literally or not, we know that our original parents had a choice, and they chose sin. This first sin, in fact all sin, has four serious consequences. It destroys our relationship with God, it cripples our relationship with each other, it hurts our relationship with the rest of creation, and distorts our understanding of ourselves and causes our bodies to fail. Through sin death enters the world.
Paul reminds us though that we can't just blame Adam and Eve for this tragedy. We have all chosen to disobey God in some way or another (Rom 5:12). The good news, the reason that we should get excited about Jesus, is that he comes to mend the wounds caused by sin (Rom 5: 15-21). His whole life, but especially His obedience and love on the Cross, repairs the malfunctions caused by Adam. Jesus is the new Adam. Where the old Adam leaves behind death. Jesus, In His death and resurrection, leaves behind an opportunity for new and eternal life. He restores our relationship with God through faith and the Sacraments, sets us free to love each other as we should, places creation on a path toward renewal, and allows us to experience the wholeness that comes from forgiveness, a life of virtue, and the promise of seeing Him face to face.
Take a moment and meditate on the goodness of God's plan. How does he respond to our denial and mistrust?
How does this image of a merciful God, and his unearned gift of grace, compare to the one you may have grown up with?
What is one way you can show gratitude for what God has done?
How have you experienced the effects of sin? Take a moment to ask Jesus to come and heal those wounds.
Compare and contrast Adam and Eve's temptation (Gen. 3: 1-6) to Jesus' temptation in the desert (MT 4:1-11). How is Jesus' response different than that of Adam?
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned. Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me. For I acknowledge my offense, and my sin is before me always: "Against you only have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight." A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. Cast me not out from your presence, and your Holy Spirit take not from me. Give me back the joy of your salvation, and a willing spirit sustain in me. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise. R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Think of a one sentence summary of your prayer today.