Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’“
But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
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, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
One of the most common themes that artists have taken from the Bible is the narration of the serpent in paradise that we read today. The subtle expression “You certainly will not die” has inspired creativity in a large number of artworks. And certainty we can list any number of situations in which human beings act “like gods who know what is good and what is evil.”
It is in human nature to play that game and, after doing so, we do not want to face its consequences. By rejecting God´s advice we destroy our natural relationship of intimacy with God and end up living in sorrow and pain through injustice, marginalization, violence, and discrimination.
Do we want to live isolated and at war? God sent Jesus and He says to us “Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”). Unlike the subtle invitation of the serpent, Jesus’ voice resounds deeply in the hearts of his audience. He invites us to receive God´s love and grace. Our only obligation is to open our hearts.
—Fr. Hugo Nelson Gomez-Sevilla is a Jesuit from Colombia, currently pursuing graduate studies in educational leadership at Loyola University Chicago.
Lord Jesus, teach me to be generous;
teach me to serve You as You deserve;
to give and not count the cost;
to fight and not to heed the wounds;
to toil and not to seek reward,
except that of knowing that I do Your will. Amen.
—St. Ignatius Loyola, Click here for the downloadable prayer card.Please share the Good Word with your friends!