First Reading: Gen 3:9-24; Psalm: 90. R. v. 1; Gospel: Mk 8:1-10
NO CONTRITION, NO MERCY
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
“Where are you?” (Gen 3:9)
When God called on Adam after Adam ate from the tree which God forbade him to eat, he asked Adam, “Where are you?” This question does not imply that the whereabouts of Adam was unknown to God. But God wanted to bring to the consciousness of Adam that he has fallen from sanctifying grace. Because when Adam ate from the forbidden tree, he lost the grace of holiness and became contaminated by sin. He was no longer where God wanted him to be.
The guilt of disobedience compelled Adam to hide himself on hearing the voice of God. He was ashamed and scared. But the worst of it all was that Adam failed to take responsibility for sinning against God; instead, he started blaming Eve as the one who beguiled him. Perhaps God could have acted differently and showed mercy had Adam admitted his sins and asked forgiveness from God. But neither Adam nor Eve admitted that they were solely responsible for their disobedience. And so they were punished with an eternal curse.
“Where are you?” Yes, I mean you reading this message. ‘You’ in this sense includes everyone. Where are we presently? Have we fallen from the grace of holiness through sin and disobedience? Or are we in the state of holiness where God wants us to be? Unfortunately, we all have sinned due to our human imperfection. But the worst we can do despite this, is to show no contrition by denying our sins or give excuses as to why we acted the way we did. There is no mercy without remorse. The Psalmist perfectly expressed this when he said, “A broken and contrite heart O Lord, you would not spurn.” (Ps 51:17). God loves us still even when we fall away from him. But we reject the mercy of God when we fail to admit our sinfulness.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord God, grant us a contrite heart. Amen.