5th Week, Saturday, Feb 13
Genesis 3:9-24 / Mark 8:1-10
You ate the forbidden fruit; “In pain you shall bear children.”
Francis Thompson was a famous British poet in the late 19th century. One of his poems, called “Daisy,” reads: “Nothing begins and nothing ends That is not paid with moan; For we are born in other’s pain, and perish in our own.” Today’s reading portrays pain as being the offspring of sin. Many people, however, blame God, not the human race, for sin.
The truth is that God, in the person of Jesus, turned pain into a vehicle of redemption— so much so that Paul was able to say: “We know that all things [including pain] work for good for those who love God.” Romans 8:28
What is our attitude toward sin and suffering? “Jesus did not come to do away with suffering or remove it. He came to fill it with his presence.” Paul Claudell
Genesis tells us that sin upsets the world in which people live, our relations with God, our relations with one another. Familiarity with God makes place for fear and distrust. Then the author(s) try to give a popular answer to the causes of evil, suffering, difficult work.
Jesus, on the other hand, brings people together and gives them to eat when they are hungry, as a sign of his mercy, his efforts toward unity and of the food of the eucharist. Let us seek this unity and this food.
Many questions have been asked about sin and suffering. Questions like is there a connection between sin and innocent suffering. So, as much as the reality of sin is not denied, yet the aspect of suffering as a consequence of sin is not readily accepted. Especially innocent suffering, or as a consequence of other people's sin. Some may even question the inheritance of Original Sin, since it was the sin of Adam and Eve, and it should have nothing to do with them. Well, we will always have our questions about sin and suffering. But let us listen to what questions God is asking us.
In the 1st reading, we heard God asking the question - Where are you? So even though Adam and Eve had sinned, God did not abandon them but searched for them. In the gospel, we hear Jesus asking another question - How many loaves have you? Jesus was not looking at the limitations; He was more interested in possibilities.
God is reaching out to us with His questions so that we may look again at our questions about life, about sin and about suffering. And Jesus is asking us to put the loaves of our lives with its questions into His hands. From His hands we will receive the Bread of Life that will give us faith and hope to walk on in love, despite and in spite of our questions.
with His questions so that we may look again at our questions about life, about sin and about suffering. And Jesus is asking us to put the loaves of our lives with its questions into His hands. From His hands we will receive the Bread of Life that will give us faith and hope to walk on in love, despite and in spite of our questions.
To those who are not filled with themselves, you reveal yourself Lord, our God, as the giver of all good things. Make us yearn for justice and peace and for all things that endure. Give us a copious meal of your word and your life through him who is our bread of life, Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord. Amen.