Day 54: The Fall of Man (385-390)
The whole point of the next few days is THE FALL
God made us FREE
We experience SUFFERING
God made us GOOD
We experience SUFFERING
GOD IS GOOD
Where does evil come from?
This is THE big question that we experience
The Catechism highlights that the only answer…
We’ve said this before…
There is NO EASY ANSWER
There is NO SIMPLE ANSWER
We said this before…
Paragraph 309 says, “There is not a single aspect of the Christian message that is not in part an answer to the question of evil.”
Paragraph 385 says, “For ‘the mystery of lawlessness’ is clarified only in the light of the ‘mystery of our religion.’”
What is remarkable about this is that we all know the problem of PAIN
We all know the reality of EVIL
The ONLY people who can understand where this comes from…
The ONLY people who can understand why it still PERSISTS…
It doesn’t EXIST really because evil is NOT a thing
It is a privation of a good thing or the distortion of a good thing or the misuse of a good thing
Why do we have it?
Why is it even there?
We cannot understand that FULLY until we understand the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ
Paragraph 388 says, “We must know Christ as the source of grace in order to know Adam as the source of sin.”
Our story in Genesis Chs 1-3, especially Ch 3, highlight the introduction of sin, suffering, and death into our world
The Catechism says that the Jewish people of the Old Testament can’t fully GRASP the reality of the human condition UNLESS we grasp the REALITY OF JESUS
Jesus fully makes known the wretchedness of sin and also the GOODNESS OF GOD’S GRACE
We will look at the reality of SIN and where it comes from
What is SIN in and of itself?
Some people think that SIN maybe is merely a developmental flaw as it says in Paragraph 387
Maybe it’s a “glitch in the system”
Here is the “program” that we are made with and it’s broken
Maybe it’s a psychological weakness
Maybe it’s a mistake
Maybe it’s the necessary consequence of an inadequate social structure (Did anyone else think of The Architect from The Matrix Reloaded when Fr. Mike said this? 🤣I would normally post a youtube link here but I’m pretty sure it has foul language 😝)
If we got the WORLD right then people would get RIGHT
These things may be realities in our lives
NONE OF THEM ARE THE SOURCES FOR SIN!!
None of those are actually what sin IS
Sin is REBELLION AGAINST GOD
We can only understand sin if we understand the FACT that we are MADE to be in RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
Think about this…
So every sin, the SOURCE OF ALL EVIL, is a REJECTION of that RELATIONSHIP
It is a REFUSAL to live in RIGHT RELATIONSHIP with the SOURCE OF ALL GOOD
THAT IS SO PROFOUND!!
The heart of sin is RELATIONSHIP
The ugliness and depth of sin is in DIRECT CONTRAST to the beauty of the kind of relationship we are supposed to have
This relationship gets RESTORED in Jesus Christ
WHERE SIN ABOUNDED, GRACE ABOUNDED ALL THE MORE
Original Sin took place at the beginning of history of man
We know that our first parents are the ones who first sinned
They took the goodness God had made them in
They took the freedom God had made them in
That ORIGINAL JUSTICE
That ORIGINAL HOLINESS
AND THEY MISUSED IT!!
And here we are experiencing the consequences of that
As Christians we also experience the consequence of JESUS
Through the sin of one man, death entered the world
Through ONE MAN, Jesus Christ, LIFE has entered the world
GRACE IS POSSIBLE!!
REDEMPTION IS REAL!!
Especially when we dive deeply into sin and suffering we need God’s Grace
So let’s turn to our Father in Heaven and pray!!
Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven, we know that you have made this world good. We know that you have made us, human beings, in your image and likeness. You have given us body and soul. You have given us intellect and will. You have given us freedom. You have made us for love. And yet, we so often turn from your love. We so often choose slavery over freedom. Please send your Holy Spirit to us right now. Send your Holy Spirit to us wherever we are listening to these words. And we ask you to please unpack, not only the reality of sin in our lives, but also the devastating reality of sin. Help us to appreciate what sin really is, so that we can appreciate the relationship and the friendship we are supposed to have with you. Help us know the darkness, Lord, so that we can know even more fully the light of your Grace and the light of your Love. And help us to walk in that light. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen”
Paragraph 385 says, “God is infinitely good and all his works are good.”
That is the starting point ALWAYS
God has revealed Himself in this way
God has revealed the goodness of Creation in this way
The next step is, “No one can escape the experience of suffering or the evils in nature which seem to be linked to the limitations proper to creatures. Where does evil come from?”
St. Augustine says, “I sought whence evil comes and there was no solution.”
Even before he was a Christian, St. Augustine experienced the reality that we all experience
If this world is made for us, then why is there so much brokenness?
Why is there so much suffering?
He can only understand where evil came from by his conversion to Jesus Christ
Paragraph 385 continues, “For ‘the mystery of lawlessness’ is clarified only in the light of the ‘mystery of our religion.’”
THAT IS SO IMPORTANT!!
Paragraph 385 continues, “The revelation of divine love in Christ manifested at the same time the extent of evil and the superabundance of grace.”
THIS IS REMARKABLE!!
ONLY IN JESUS in the revelation of divine love manifests the EXTENT OF EVIL
HOW DEEP EVIL GOES!!
THE SUPERABUNDANCE OF GRACE!!
What do we mean by that?
What is the PRICE of evil?
The PRICE is the DEATH OF GOD
Jesus Christ becomes a human being
He is the Second Person of the Trinity
He takes on a human nature
In that human nature, the Second Person of the Trinity SUFFERED
The Second Person of the Trinity WAS REJECTED
The Second Person of the Trinity WAS TORTURED
The Second Person of the Trinity WAS MURDERED
The Second Person of the Trinity ROSE FROM THE DEAD
He SHOWS us DIVINE LOVE
This is HOW FAR love goes
It’s also HOW FAR love HAS to go
It reveals the EXTENT OF EVIL
It reveals the SUPERABUNDANCE OF GRACE
WHERE SIN ABOUNDED, GRACE ABOUNDED ALL THE MORE
God is revealing to every single one of us that NO MATTER HOW DEEPLY SIN GOES…
GRACE IS STILL THE WINNER!!
GRACE STILL CONQUERS!!
Paragraph 385 continues, “We must therefore approach the question of the origin of evil by fixing the eyes of our faith on him who alone is its conqueror.”
WE FIRST LOOK AT JESUS!!
Jesus is the one who reveals to us what it is to have sin
Jesus is the one who reveals to us what it is to be REDEEMED FROM SIN
Paragraph 386 says, “Sin is present in human history; any attempt to ignore it or to give this dark reality other names would be futile. To try to understand what sin is, one must first recognize the profound relation of man to God, for only in this rejection of God and opposition to him, even as it continues to weigh heavy on human life and history.”
THAT IS SO IMPORTANT!!
SIN IS NOT A MISTAKE!!
SIN IS NOT AN ACCIDENT!!
SIN IS NOT BREAKING A RULE!!
When we speed or break any kind of rule
If we take the tag off the mattress…(I always wondered why that was against the law… 🤔)
THAT IS IMPERSONAL!!
We are violating a RULE
We are violating the thing that was told of us
While Commandments might be written down and are rules in many ways…
When we say YES to obeying the Commandment, we are not saying YES to the RULE
We are saying YES to the Person who gave the Commandment
When we say NO to the Commandment, we are saying NO to the Person who gave us the Commandment
We are MADE to be IN RELATIONSHIP with God
The heart of EVERY SIN is that WE DO NOT WANT TO BE IN RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
We are NOT rejecting a THING
We are rejecting a PERSON
We are rejecting GOD HIMSELF
THAT IS THE THING WE NEED TO HIGHLIGHT!!
Paragraph 387 says, “Without the knowledge Revelation gives of God we cannot recognize sin clearly and are tempted to explain it as merely a developmental flaw, a psychological weakness, a mistake, or the necessary consequence of an inadequate social structure, etc.”
For example, “If we get the education system right, there will be no more sin.”
Or, “If we get poverty solved, there will be no more sin.”
We KNOW that our hearts are BROKEN
One of the manifestations of that is that we keep saying this, “God, I know what YOU want. But I don’t care. I want what I want.”
That’s how Fr. Mike ascribes sin
We have to understand it as a RELATIONSHIP
Paragraphs 388 says, “With the progress of Revelation, the reality of sin is also illuminated. Although to some extent the People of God in the Old Testament had tried to understand the pathos of the human condition in the light of the history of the fall narrated in Genesis, they could not grasp this story’s ultimate meaning, which is revealed only in the light of the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. We must know Christ as the source of grace in order to know Adam as the source of sin.”
We can’t fully understand Original Sin unless we understand, to some degree, GRACE
Paragraph 389 says, “The doctrine of original sin is, so to speak, the ‘reverse side’ of the Good News that Jesus is the Savior of all men…”
Because the doctrine of Original Sin shows that we are created GOOD but BROKEN
WE NEED SALVATION!!
The Gospel is here is Jesus
THE SAVIOR OF MANKIND
THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD
If I do not understand Original Sin, I will NEVER understand my NEED FOR SALVATION
If I do not understand MY BROKENNESS, I will NEVER EVER UNDERSTAND why God Himself had to become one of us in order to redeem all of us
WE WILL NEVER GET IT!!
Paragraph 389 continues, “The Church, which has the mind of Christ, knows very well that we cannot tamper with the revelation of original sin without undermining the mystery of Christ.”
There are people out there, even Christians, who IGNORE Original Sin
They write off our human brokenness as a developmental flaw, psychological weakness, a mistake, or needing better social structures
If we are truly going to understand the WHOLE GOSPEL, then we HAVE TO UNDERSTAND ORIGINAL SIN
Everything we talk about when it comes to Jesus Christ saving the world all comes back to how we view the human person and how we view the human person in relation to God
How do we say it as Catholics?
We were made GOOD
We were made IN RIGHT RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
We had ORIGINAL HOLINESS
We had ORIGINAL JUSTICE
We even had ORIGINAL NAKEDNESS in front of each other
AND THEN THAT WAS BROKEN!!
We REMAIN good
We REMAIN in God’s image and likeness
We find ourselves BROKEN
We find ourselves in the possession of the Evil One
That’s how we are born into this world
Paragraph 390 says, “The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language…”
There’s a fruit
There’s a serpent
“This affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man.”
Scripture is ALWAYS TRUE
Sometimes it is a HISTORICAL TRUTH
Sometimes it is a LITERAL HISTORICAL TRUTH
The Catechism is saying Genesis Ch 3 is an HISTORICAL TRUTH
It is not a LITERAL HISTORICAL TRUTH
Using figurative language, it talks about a REAL THING that REALLY HAPPENED at the beginning of the history of man
Where our first parents FRELLY REJECTED THAT RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
Paragraph 390 continues, “Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents.”
This is where we find ourselves
Tomorrow we will talk about The Fall of the Angels
Then we will look at Original Sin in more depth
We will also talk about the CONSEQUENCES OF SIN for all of humanity
We will also talk about the reality of how we find ourselves in a HARD BATTLE
In that battle, God did not abandon us to the domain of death
GOD DID NOT ABANDON US!!
We have to understand how GOOD God made you and me to understand HOW FAR WE HAVE FALLEN
To fully understand how DEEPLY God is willing to go to rescue us
GOD LOVES YOU SO MUCH!!
If you are here on Day 54, you have shown so much TENACITY
We are doing this TOGETHER
I’m going to let Fr. Mike tell this story now…
One of the consequences of Original Sin is a WEAKENED WILL
KEEP PRESSING PLAY!!
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow
Scripture References & Reflections
- compiled by Andrew Adamany
Bible Translation - RSVCE
CCC 385 "For "the mystery of lawlessness" is clarified only in the light of the "mystery of our religion"...
2 Thessalonians 2:7
"For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way."
1 Timothy 3:16
"Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of our religion:
He was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated in the Spirit,
seen by angels,
preached among the nations,
believed on in the world,
taken up in glory."
"The revelation of divine love in Christ manifested at the same time the extent of evil and the superabundance of grace…"
"Then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous. 20 Law came in, to increase the trespass; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
"We must therefore approach the question of the origin of evil by fixing the eyes of our faith on him who alone is its conqueror…"
"When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace; 22 but when one stronger than he assails him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoil."
1 John 3:8
"He who commits sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil."
CCC 387 "Only the light of divine Revelation clarifies the reality of sin and particularly of the sin committed at mankind's origins. Without the knowledge Revelation gives of God we cannot recognize sin clearly and are tempted to explain it as merely a developmental flaw, a psychological weakness, a mistake, or the necessary consequence of an inadequate social structure, etc. Only in the knowledge of God's plan for man can we grasp that sin is an abuse of the freedom that God gives to created persons so that they are capable of loving him and loving one another."
"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.”
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.
8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of thee in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
CCC 388 "With the progress of Revelation, the reality of sin is also illuminated. Although to some extent the People of God in the Old Testament had tried to understand the pathos of the human condition in the light of the history of the fall narrated in Genesis, they could not grasp this story's ultimate meaning, which is revealed only in the light of the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ…"
"Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned— 13 sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16 And the free gift is not like the effect of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification. 17 If, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
18 Then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous. 20 Law came in, to increase the trespass; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
"We must know Christ as the source of grace in order to know Adam as the source of sin. The Spirit-Paraclete, sent by the risen Christ, came to "convict the world concerning sin", by revealing him who is its Redeemer."
"Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convince the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged."
CCC 389 "The doctrine of original sin is, so to speak, the "reverse side" of the Good News that Jesus is the Savior of all men, that all need salvation and that salvation is offered to all through Christ. The Church, which has the mind of Christ, knows very well that we cannot tamper with the revelation of original sin without undermining the mystery of Christ."
1 Corinthians 2:14–16
"The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ."