5th Friday OT 2019 (readings)
The Devil uses many strategies in his attempts to turn us from God, one such strategy is seen in the first reading today: he falsifies what God has said, raises suspicions about God’s plans and intentions, and, finally, portrays God as man’s enemy. The Devil’s strategy here was a success; through it, sin entered the world, and mankind lost a life lived with God.
Because of this fall from grace, through the influence of the father of lies, mankind throughout history will be under constant pressure to reject God, even to the point of hating Him. Man will be forever inclined to see in God primarily a limitation of oneself, and not the source of his own freedom and the fullness of good.
Unfortunately, we see this confirmed in the modern age, where atheistic ideologies seek to root out religion in the name of secularism. They attribute everything to themselves, and never to the God who gave them life, who upholds their very existence throughout the entirety of their lives.
What the world doesn’t see, doesn’t know, is that we humans can do no good apart from God. Any and all good we do is His doing; we are merely the instruments he’s using to bring about that good. We are like a scalpel in the hands of the divine physician; or the paint brush in the hands of the divine artist; we’re only good in so far as we cooperate with the movements of our creator. The scalpel fails as a scalpel, if it doesn’t cut when the physician needs it to, likewise the paint brush is useless if its bristles don’t bend to the will of the one wielding it.
That doesn’t mean we are automatons; quite the contrary. God has seen fit to work good through us, but only with our cooperation and consent, never without it.
However, the evil we do, the sins we commit, are entirely our own. The devil or the world may influence us in our decisions, but these decisions remains ours.
The Fall of Adam and Eve was not the doing of the serpent, however much he influenced them, but rather the culpability lie entirely with our First Parents.
Luckily for us, though, we have a new Adam and a new Eve; Jesus Christ, and Mary. Christ has come to undo the sin of Adam, and to restore to us the life in God that was rightfully ours at creation.
My brothers and sisters, Christ continues to pour out His saving grace on us here in the Mass, in the Eucharist we are about to receive. Let it be for a us a movement towards docility and obedience to the promptings of the Holy Spirit; that we might be cooperative in all that God asks of us.