Commentator Mark Hoffman
accused Lawrence of not knowing the definition of “justice,” which he
"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
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 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
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
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.