Year A: 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Second Reading: Romans 5: 12-15
One of the purposes of the second Creation story was to explain how death came into the world. It took people back to a time when the world was beautiful and life was lived in harmony with the Creator and with Creation.. Then came the moment that changed it all - a moment of disobedience which cost humanity the eternal life for which they had been created.
So, for generations, sin and death were closely linked. However, the definition of sin had become reduced to failing to keep the Law.
St Paul reminds his readers that the Law was not in place from the beginning - but had been given to Moses well into the history of the Jewish people. Yet, even without a Law to keep - or to fail to keep - death was still part of the human condition.
Sin was not, then, just a matter of failure as far as the Law was concerned - but something much deeper. This was the basic human temptation to believe that humans know better than God - and to disobey the will of God - even when that is not enshrined as Law.
Jesus is sometimes called the “Second Adam”. When Adam was created, he was just about as perfect a man as could be imagined - yet he had a flaw - a capacity to disobey the will of God.
Jesus Christ was God’s “abundant free gift” to the world. He too was a perfect man - but without the flaw! His obedience - even to a humiliating and agonising death on a cross - restored divine grace to fallen humanity.
The fall from grace that led from Adam’s disobedience was more than overcome by the obedience of Jesus.
God did not have to do this.
Humanity could have been left to its own devices - but God refused to let human disobedience be the end of the story.
Two thousand years later, humanity still carries the burdens of sin and death - but we know that they are no longer the end. Through the obedience of Jesus, the Son of God, we have been given back our freedom and our heritage - eternal life.
What does it mean for me?
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