The Lord God then called to the man and asked him, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself.” Then he asked, “Who told you that you were naked? You have eaten, then, from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!” The man replied, “The woman whom you put here with me – she gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it.” The Lord God then asked the woman, “Why did you do such a thing?” The woman answered, “the serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it.” Genesis 3:9-13
Today we celebrate Mary, our Mother, on this Feast of the Immaculate Conception; it is a day to recall that from the very moment she was conceived, Mary was preserved from original sin. Mary is the patroness of our nation, and we need to understand her relationship with God more than ever during these turbulent times. When we look at the Reading above, we might wonder what this has to do with Mary. But it is all about right relationship with God and with others; it is about truth and the way intimacy, love, and peace can grow only if we are in right relationship with God.
All of us are way too familiar with the blame game playing out in today’s first reading. God senses something is amiss, and asks Adam about it. Adam blames God for giving him Eve and blames Eve for talking him into eating the forbidden fruit. God then asks Eve about the situation, and Eve blames the serpent who, for once, is speechless. Still they stand naked and ashamed before the One Who loved them into being. They now know the difference between good and evil, as the serpent promised; and they know the scary emotion associated with being caught doing something wrong. And so, sad as it is, it seems the blame game is as old as humanity.
Political foes blame each other for not passing life-saving bills; financial institutions, corporations, husbands and wives, even children blame one another if they are called to task about an action or lack of it. The most heartbreaking part of this is that relationships are damaged, sometimes permanently, and trust is broken. Unconditional love disappears.
Eve, our first mother, when approached by a fallen angel had doubts. Mary, the new Eve, when approached by the Angel Gabriel had perfect faith. Eve participated in Adam’s downfall, and Mary participated in Jesus victory over sin and death as the new Adam. Thanks to Mary’s “yes” to God in perfect surrender, we became – as her children – once again united to her Son in right and perfect relationship. And this is better than Eden’s joy; it is the joy of knowing we walk in love with our Creator forever.
Mary Immaculate is our tenth Ornament of Grace.
Observing the Beautiful Ornaments
How can you stop yourself from playing the blame game?
Do you ever find yourself cheering the blame gamers on? If so, why?