The Lord God fashioned man of dust from the soil. Then he breathed into his nostrils a breath of life, and thus man became a living being.
The Lord God planted a garden in Eden which is in the east, and there he put the man he had fashioned. The Lord God caused to spring up from the soil every kind of tree, enticing to look at and good to eat, with the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the middle of the garden.
Now the serpent was the most subtle of all the wild beasts that the Lord God had made. It asked the woman, ‘Did God really say you were not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?’ The woman answered the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees in the garden. But of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden God said, “You must not eat it, nor touch it, under pain of death.” ‘ Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘No! You will not die! God knows in fact that on the day you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil.’ The woman saw that the tree was good to eat and pleasing to the eye, and that it was desirable for the knowledge that it could give. So she took some of its fruit and ate it. She gave some also to her husband who was with her, and he ate it.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realised that they were naked. So they sewed fig-leaves together to make themselves loin-cloths.
The First reading at Mass today, the first Sunday of Lent, reminds us of our beginnings as a beloved and privileged part of God’s creation. It also reminds us of the tragedy of sin, and the loss that comes from it.
Genesis’ account of the garden and the Fall heard at the beginning of Lent establishes the context for the account of the triumph of love and faithfulness achieved by Christ, betrayed in one garden and buried in another, that we will hear read from John’s Gospel on Good Friday.
- What consequence of the sin of others most evidently blights your life?
- What action of yours might most blights the lives of others?
Bring your pain and sorrow to God in prayer.
Capital, depicting the Temptation. Iona Abbey. (c) 2011, Allen Morris