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Friday, July 24, 2015

Original Justice: Marriage Between One Man and One Woman

by Lawrence Fox
Editor’s Note: This is the sequel to Genderless “Marriage” Threatens the Foundation of Civilization  in which Lawrence wrote,  “The fruitful bonding between man and woman is the most fundamental form of original justice.”

Commentator Mark Hoffman accused Lawrence of not knowing the definition of “justice,” which he defined as
"the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments." Now we see what Mark was missing.

It was a common practice for ancient rulers to form images of themselves and place them within temples throughout their kingdom. Perhaps they wished to be worshiped. Maybe they just wanted to be honored.

But God – from a completely different motive -- did likewise. He placed within the temple of His creation His own image, that of man – male and female. Then He breathed on them, and blessed them with the Gift of His Holy Spirit.

Adam and Eve were God’s ambassadors within creation. We know from the writings of St. Paul, especially the Letter to the Colossians, that Jesus is the perfect Image (icon) of God since in Him dwelt the fullness (pleroma) of Divinity. Pleroma was a Greek word used by philosophers to identify the overabundance of divinity, which emanates from the One, the source of all life.

It seems several of the early Church Fathers considered that God planned that Adam and Eve be made in the image of God’s Son, the incarnated Jesus Christ, “who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
Male and Female He made them in His Image 

Now that is something to contemplate. With the creation of Adam and Eve, God saw all that He made and it was very good. In essence, material creation was complete, there was no evil, and God rested on the Sabbath.

The Book of Genesis states that Adam and Eve were made in God’s likeness.  St. John in his 1st Letter states “We are already children of God but what we shall be has not yet been revealed but we know that we shall be like Him (Jesus) when He comes for we shall see Him as He is.”  To see the Face of God, one must be like Him.  

Adam and Eve as such were without sin and full of the Life of God, and therefore in God’s likeness.  Blessed with the supernatural gift of holiness, they were able to walk and talk with God in the Garden.  From the beginning, they were in communion with God and participated in God’s Divine Nature. This sanctifying grace was a free gift from God, Who could have made Adam and Eve naturally whole with nothing more.

But God created Adam and Eve among all the creatures for Himself, so that they would know, love and serve Him in this life and be happy with Him in eternity.  Adam and Eve came from God and their destiny was to return to God.

God brought all the animals to Adam to see what he would name them and whatever he named them they were so named. Man -- Adam and Eve – was given other preternatural gifts such as infused wisdom which means they knew the purpose of things. By naming the animals, the original male and female knew and identified their purpose and their universal substance. Today, man has completely lost the concept of the purpose of things. 

Both Adam and Eve freely walked  naked in the Garden, but they were not ashamed. They possessed in their being and manifested in their state of marriage God’s original justice within Creation. They were in harmony with God, with themselves, with each other, and with creation. Perhaps this is where modernists would say God does not create junk.

Adam and Eve’s original justice was to be lived within God’s command and blessing, “Be fruitful and multiply and have dominion over the earth.” Adam said, “This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. I shall call her woman for she came forth from the side of man." And Jesus added, "And for this reason a man shall leave father and mother and cling to his wife and the two shall become one flesh.”

God commanded Adam and Eve to till the Garden. He said that they could eat of all the fruits of the Garden except for one. They were not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God so warned them that on the day they did eat of that tree, they would die. 

Adam and Eve possessed immortality. They were not created for death or illness or ignorance. Adam and Eve were to be parents and teachers of the human race.

The serpent identified by Jesus as “a murderer and liar from the beginning” convinced Adam and Eve to put their
"You shall be like god."
hands to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He caused them to doubt God’s goodness and lied: “You shall be like god knowing good and evil.”

(Note: It was U.S. President Barack Obama who stood before the graduates at Notre Dame University in 2009, and said, “Faith must entertain a healthy degree of doubt in order to overcome fanaticism.”  It was a serpentine statement on the same level as the lie in the Garden.  We can conclude based upon the sage advice of Obama that Jesus was a fanatic, so was Paul and Peter, since they went to their deaths possessing unwavering certainty. In the meantime, Obama believes the fanatic Islamic State (ISIS) is not an expression of Islam.)

Adam and Eve were in God’s image, but placing their hand to the tree, they chose to “know good and evil apart from God’s Divine Revelation.”

Ex-Liberal Christopher Ziegler makes the same point in Obergefell v Hodges: The New Tower of Babel  with respect to Same Sex “Marriage.”

“Man wants to seize the fruit and forsake the source, to 'worship the creature more than the Creator' (Romans 1:25),” Ziegler wrote. “He (modern man) will take the fruits of the tree, those things which are delectable to the eye, and reject the root and branch, which is God.”

This rejection of Divine Revelation continues to be a major cause of sin in the world. They saw that the fruit was delightful to the eyes, good for food, and profitable for wisdom and so they ate it and suddenly discovered they were naked. Adam and Eve lost their original justice, their likeness of God,  and experienced the condition known as concupiscence. They hid from God.  They hid from each other, sewing fig leaves to cover themselves since they could not control their passions.

Eve blamed the serpent for her actions, and Adam blamed God and Eve. As such, they were no longer in harmony with God, neither with each other nor with creation. God clothed them by killing an animal and covered them with animal skin. This foreshadowed the Old Testament rule, “There was no forgiveness of sins without the shedding of blood.”

But animal blood could not make a person holy. God promised them a Redeemer who would put enmity between the woman and her seed and the serpent and serpent’s seed.  (Gen. 3:15) Adam and Eve handed down the loss of God’s likeness as original sin to all generations. Hence we cannot assume that because God did not make junk that he made us with sinful inclinations. Those came from our first parents.

Original sin simply means the absence of the good (sanctifying grace), which should have been there and passed on from parent to child. Man and woman had to wait for the Messiah to come. In Him, they would become “born again” in sanctifying grace.
Jesus was sent by God to redeem mankind from the slavery of sin and to restore God’s likeness within humanity. Jesus emptied himself and became man. He was obedient -- even unto death on the Cross. All that was lost by Adam and Eve’s disobedience was restored by Jesus’ perfect obedience. In Jesus’ death and resurrection, the baptized become God’s adopted children in Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit, washed with the Blood of the Lamb, and sealed by the Holy Spirit for eternal resurrected life.

On Holy Thursday, Jesus instituted God’s New Covenant of Love by first bathing his disciples’ feet and then celebrating the New and Everlasting Covenant in His Body and Blood.

The Temple sacrifices were coming to an end. God now gave to His people the Eucharistic Celebration by which humanity returns in justice a holy and perfect sacrifice to the Father in thanksgiving for the goodness of His Creation and Redemption in Christ Jesus.

The knot of sin was untied. Adam and Eve in the Garden decided, “Not God’s will but our will be done.”
garden, a point of decision 
Jesus in the Garden decided, “Not my will but God’s will be done.”

Jesus’ death on the cross reconciles humanity with God, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Jesus’ death on the cross brings rest, “It is finished.” In Christ Jesus, humanity is able to return to the Garden (the Kingdom of God, the Church) victorious over sin and death. Jesus said, “Where I am so you shall be.” Jesus is the heart of the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ.

Jesus’ death on the cross brings about the grace of renewal, “From His side flowed blood and water.” Jesus -- by his sleep in the tomb --renews the Sabbath day rest of the First Creation. Jesus goes into hell (the place of the dead) and leads the saints of the Old Testament into heaven including Adam and Eve. Jesus’ rising on the 8th Day manifests God’s Eternal Rest and New Creation, bringing forth complete victory over sin and death.

As a result of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, the baptized are drawn back into an original justice with God, with themselves, each other, and with creation.  The moral law is now lived in and through the power of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Man, who comes from God, is now able to return to God in Jesus Christ, who ascended to the Father, “to my God and your God, to my Father and your Father.”

The Church is the Bride of Christ. God maintains – even in Redemption --- the image of the fruitful bonding between one man and one woman – as the most fundamental form of original justice.

Like this piece? Perhaps you'd like to read Lawrence's poem Tasks at Hand: A Poem about the Delights of Faithful Marriage

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