- The Abbey of the Genesee - https://www.geneseeabbey.org -

Homily for February 13, 2021

Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO

Saturday of the 5th week in Ordinary Time

Genesis 3: 9-24, Mark 8: 1-10

“Adam, where are you?’ (Gen. 3:9) This question is worth contemplating. God was walking the path of life that he regularly walked with Adam. Today, something was different. Adam didn’t come to meet him. God who is ever faithful and true called out to his wandering friend. He understood that the one who has wandered from the path is the last one to admit that he has lost his way. The question was intended to make Adam conscious of his surroundings. It was offered as a time of grace for him to realize that he had lost his compass.

God called to Adam, hoping he would come to his senses and return to the path of life and truth. If Adam had only considered where he was, he would have been able to realize how powerless he was in the face of his sin and would have surrendered to the love and care of God. Unfortunately, guilt and shame caused him to fear God and to hide from his sight. For a moment, Adam forgot that God made him in His image and likeness and for that reason, he was the apple of His eye.

Adam who had danced before God with total abandon (CF. 2 Sam 6:14) and ran to Him whenever you heard His approach found himself lost in all-consuming darkness. Overwhelmed by the terrors of the night, Adam ran and hid from the perceived threat that came looking for him. Because he had exchanged delight in God’s presence for shame and guilt at His approach, Adam convinced himself that the Lord had forsaken him (CF. Is. 49:14).

God, in His mercy, called to Adam, where are you? Only when the individual acknowledges his folly can he hope to be reconciled with God. Even though man may wander from the path of life, God never forsakes the work of his hands. The creator called Adam out of hiding, reminding him, “You are my beloved Son. In you I take great delight” (CF. Mat. 3:17), come to me. A loving parent never puts his child to shame. He who robed his beloved son in radiant light asks a very important question. “Who told you that you were naked?” Another way of phrasing the question, “Who told you that your nakedness offended or embarrassed me?”

Being moved pity for his wayward children, God declared the ultimate victory of the Son of the Woman: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel” (Gen. 3:15). Because the bounties of the Lord are everlasting, the promised victory of the Word Incarnate over the Master of Deceit is the anchor of our hope and reason for us to regain our senses. “What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (Jn. 1: 4-5).

Know that when you come to your senses, I will be there, ready to draw you back to my heart (cf. Lk. 15: 17, 20). Even now God desires to restore us to intimacy with Him and to confer on us the freedom of His beloved children. May we be willing to accept his grace.