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2 posted on 12/07/2012 9:52:44 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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From: Genesis 3:9-15, 20

Temptation and the First Sin (Continuation)


[9] But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”
[10] And he said, “I heard the sound of thee in the garden, and I was afraid, be-
cause I was naked; and I hid myself.” [11] He said, “Who told you that you were
naked? Have you eaten of the tree which I commanded you not to eat?” [12] The
man said, “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me fruit of the
tree, and I ate.” [13] Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you
have done?” The woman said, “The serpent beguiled me, and I ate.” [14] The Lord
said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all cattle,
and above all wild animals; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life. [15] I will put enmity between you and the woman, and
between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise
his heel.”

[20] The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all li-
ving.

********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

3:7-13. This passage begins the description of the effects of the original sin.
Man and woman have come to know evil, and it shows, initially, in a most direct
way — in their own bodies. The inner harmony described in Genesis 2:25 is bro-
ken, and concupiscence rears its head. Their friendship with God is also broken,
and they flee from his presence, to avoid their nakedness being seen. As if his
Creator could not see them! The harmony between man and woman is also frac-
tured: he puts the blame on her, and she puts it on the serpent. But all three
share in the responsibility, and therefore all three are going to pay the penalty.

“The harmony in which they found themselves, thanks to original justice, is now
destroyed: the control of the soul’s spiritual faculties over the body is shattered:
the union of man and woman becomes subject to tensions (cf. Gen 3:7-16),
their relations henceforth marked by lust and domination. Harmony with creation
is broken: visible creation has become alien and hostile to man (cf. Gen 3:17,
19). Because of man, creation is now subject ‘to its bondage to decay’ (Rom 8:
21). Finally, the consequence explicitly foretold for this disobedience will come
true: man will ‘return to the ground’ (Gen 3:19), for out of it he was taken. ‘Death
makes its entrance into human history’ (cf. Roman 5:12)” (”Catechism of the
Catholic Church”, 400).

3:14-15. The punishment God imposes on the serpent includes confrontation
between woman and the serpent, between mankind and evil, with the promise
that man will come out on top. That is why this passage is called the “Proto-
gospel”: it is the first announcement to mankind of the good news of the Re-
deemer-Messiah. Clearly, a bruise to the head is deadly, whereas a bruise to
the heel is curable.

As the Second Vatican Council teaches, “God, who creates and conserves all
things by his Word, (cf. In 1:3), provides men with constant evidence of himself
in created realities (cf. Rom 1:19-20). And furthermore, wishing to open up the
way to heavenly salvation, by promising redemption (cf. Gen 3:15); and he has
never ceased to take care of the human race. For he wishes to give eternal life
to all those who seek salvation by patience in well-doing (cf. Rom 2:6-7)” (”Dei
Verbum”, 3).

Victory over the devil will be brought about by a descendant of the woman, the
Messiah. The Church has always read these verses as being messianic, refer-
ring to Jesus Christ; and it was seen in the woman the mother of the promised
Savior; the Virgin Mary is the new Eve. “The earliest documents, as they are
read in the Church and are understood in the light of a further and full revelation,
bring the figure of a woman, Mother of the Redeemer, into a gradually clearer
light. Considered in this light, she is already prophetically foreshadowed in the
promise of victory over the serpent which was given to our first parents after
their fall into sin (cf. Gen 3:15) [...]. Hence not a few of the early Fathers gladly
assert with Irenaeus in their preaching: ‘the knot of Eve’s disobedience was un-
tied by Mary’s obedience: what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief, Mary
loosened by her faith’ (St Irenaeus, “Adv. haer.” 3, 22, 4) Comparing Mary with
Eve, they call her ‘Mother of the living’ (St Epiphanius, “Adv. haer. Panarium”
78, 18) and frequently claim: ‘death through Eve, life through Mary’ (St Jerome,
“Epistula” 22, 21; etc.)” (Vatican II, “Lumen Gentium”, 55-56).

So, woman is going to have a key role in that victory over the devil. In his Latin
translation of the Bible, the “Vulgate”, St Jerome in fact reads the relevant pas-
sage as “she [the woman] shall bruise your head”. That woman is the Blessed
Virgin, the new Eve and the mother of the Redeemer, who shares (by anticipa-
tion and pre-eminently) in the victory of her Son. Sin never left its mark on her,
and the Church proclaims her as the Immaculate Conception.

St Thomas explains that the reason why God did not prevent the first man from
sinning was because ‘God allows evils to be done in order to draw forth some
greater good. Thus St Paul says, ‘Where sin increased, grace abounded all the
more’ (Rom 5:20); and the “Exultet” sings, ‘O happy fault,...which gained for us
so great a Redeemer’” (”Summa Theologiae”, 3, 1, 3 and 3; cf. “Catechism of
the Catholic Church”, 412).

********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


3 posted on 12/07/2012 9:59:47 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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