The WORD in other words by Fr. Oscar Alunday, SVD (Pindangan, San Fernando City, La Union)
Saturday 5th Week in Ordinary Time Year 1
Photo: Wikimedia Commons, The Good Shepherd
St John XXIII was once seated beside a lady dressed in a super miniskirt during a banquet that he was hosting for dignitaries. He asked the lady, “Do you know what happened to Eve after eating the apple?” They both turned into a “silent laughter” together. The Pope was retelling the story of Genesis 3 to the lady in a humorous way to allow her to see her “nakedness.”
We can ask the same question to ourselves and expand our own Genesis 3 story.The “bite” was followed by shame (nakedness) and rationalizations of non-acceptance of the consequences of the “bite” (sin). God’s presence walking in the garden in close fellowship with Adam & Eve changed dramatically into shame and fear of God’s voice looking for them. God’s caring voice of concern became a punitive voice of expulsion. Paradise was lost forever!
God continues to search for “the Adams and the Eves” who are hiding away. God cries, “Where are you?” We make all kinds of excuses for our sins so we can look good. Without facing the issue, we blame the cause of our sin on everyone, including God. But God always takes the initiative in mercy and love to look for us who hide away in shame and guilt.
The voice of God in Paradise, looking for Adam and Eve, has a human face in Mk 8:1-10. Compassionate and merciful, Jesus feeds the hungry and the weary. “Where are you?” has a human voice and face in Jesus Christ. He who fed four thousand people gave His body as food for all. With the caring God, we ask, “Where are you?” as we greet each other a joyful and happy Valentine!