FAITH IN FOCUS: FORBIDDEN FRUIT?
The story of Adam and Eve is widely known. Eve eats the forbidden fruit; Eve persuades Adam also to eat it; and God finds out . Their excuses: ‘the woman made me do it’, says Adam; ‘it was the serpent’ says Eve. But they have disobeyed God so they get thrown out of Paradise into a harsh world. The Original sin.
But is it just a sin of disobedience? No, rather, the sin is more profound. The devil has tempted Eve by telling her the real reason that God has forbidden them from eating the fruit is that if they do they will be ‘like gods’.
To be like gods, to be in control, to have no need of God; this is the original sin which affects humanity. The growing child wants their own way; for the adult the temptation can be only to do it ‘my way’.
But society, businesses, organisations, need people who can lead, who can exercise authority and who can make things happen. However they must always do so for the common good and as servants, not as masters.
The opposite is the dictator who wants to take over the world. The quest for power, influence, control, is the great temptation of humanity and seen all over the world today where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. ‘I did it my way’ is a recipe for a sad life and a poorer world.
But life tells us that we are not in charge. ‘No man is an island’ is a reminder that we are all cogs in the wheel of our great and wonderful world and working together is a recipe for a better world.
And the Gospel tells us that we are not in charge: love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you. Jesus constantly challenges us not do it our way or the ways of the world but God’s way.
And if we do it God’s way we become sisters and brothers of Jesus, today’s Gospel tells us. Do we want to be sisters and brothers of Jesus? Or do we still want to do it ‘my way’? Is that forbidden fruit still a temptation?