Friday, February 09, 2007

...both of them were NAKED

Reflection on the Readings of Friday Week 5 in Ord. Time Year I.
(Gen 3:1-8 / Ps. 31 (32) / Mark 7:31-37)

In reflecting today’s readings, what touched me was the phrase from the 1st reading; “…and they realized that they were naked. So they sewed fig-leaves together to make themselves loin-cloths” (vs. 7) Why are they shy? I remember yesterday’s text which ended with the phrase; “Now, both of them were naked, the man and his wife, but they felt NO shame in front of each other” (Gen 2:25).

I asked myself at which moments or when I am comfortable being naked?

- I am able to be naked when I am alone. I don’t have a problem with myself. I have a good self esteem and I love my body. I am able to stand naked and look at my body; it is because I have a good relationship with myself. (I realized that when I am not in a good mood or feeling a low, I can’t even look at myself in the mirror, this is because there is no proper relationship with myself).

- I am able to be naked in front of my parents, not even with my siblings. This is because they were the ones who brought me up. God used them as means in creating me. They have seen me naked many many times, bathing me, changing my diapers, going to the doctor for medical purposes, etc. Automatically the relationship is there and it has strengthened because of the love and care they have and still showering me. I might be apprehensive (shy) at first, but am able to stand naked in front of them. I always wish if I come to a situation where I need to be naked due to medical reasons, my mum will be around! hehehe

- I am able to be naked in front of my close friends who I treat like a brother. Hey I don’t simply go standing naked in front of them okay, so don’t get the wrong idea. It’s when situation like I have to change in front of him when we are sharing the same room. This is also because of a relationship I have with him. A relationship with trust, love and care. Hey, not just any close friend, but a VERY CLOSE FRIEND. So if you want to know, whether I am your very close friend, try to get me naked in front of you!!! Hehehehe.

Now going back to my reflection, we are able to stand naked freely in front of another person and not feel shy is because we have a good relationship with that person. Adam and Eve were able to stand naked in front each other and not feel shy in yesterday’s text is because they had a good relationship. Moreover they were husband and wife (Gen 2:22ff). In today’s text the problem starts. Tomorrow’s text we will know why they are suddenly shy. The text which is the continuation will tell us the reason; they have lost the innocence and starting to fight with each other (Adam blaming Eve).

Both of them hid themselves from God too, their Creator. Now why are they shy in front of their Creator? I know you know the answer. Yes you are right, their relationship with God has strained. And this is due to SIN. They have disobeyed God and one of the consequences of sin is a strained relationship. They don’t share God’s goodness and innocence and they want to go on a hiding. Adam and Eve were guilty and filled with shame because of sin. They should have taken personal responsibility and not blame one another. Instead of justifying, they should have acknowledged their failings and seek God’s forgiveness.

I am so happy to read today’s psalm. It is motivating especially after reflecting the downfall of our first parents (CCC 417#). The psalm says “Happy the man whose offence is forgiven”. Truly we should be happy, because our God is a God full of love and compassion. But we have to be truly repentant and acknowledge our sins if we want to be forgiven and be restored in a perfect relationship with God. The psalm gives a cue, it states; “But now I have acknowledged my sins, my guilt I did not hide. I said: I will confess my offence to the Lord. And you, Lord, have forgiven the guilt of my sin” (vs. 5). After acknowledging our sins and asking God for forgiveness, we should rejoice, for “Happy the man whose offence is forgiven, whose sin is remitted. O happy the man to whom the Lord imputes no guilt, in whose spirit is no guile” (vs.1-2).

My dear friends, usually when we do something bad, and when we sin, we tend to runaway and hide from God. We try to keep it a secret. But if we are truly repentant, we do not have to run, for God, who is full of compassion and love, who keep his covenant ever in mind [Ps110 (111)], will forgive and welcome us back.

In the Gospel today, we notice that Jesus after working the miracle “ordered the people not tell anyone about it, but the more he insisted, the more widely they published it”. I am sure you are asking, why Jesus wanted it to be a secret since he was doing good and not bad which will make people go secretive or hiding? Jesus had a valid reason for wanting to make it secret. He was afraid that with the publicity they will take him by force and make him king (Jn.6:15). Make him king for a wrong reason. The best part in the text I feel is when Jesus insisted, “the more widely they published it. Their admiration was unbounded. He has done all things well, they said, he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak”. After experiencing God’s love, the people when proclaiming it. We too should go; we should go and tell the marvelous works the Lord has done in our lives. That he has set us free and brought us back to share in his life. He has forgiven and healed the relationship that we broke due to our sins.

My dear friends, if because of situations we have to go hiding, then let us take cue again from the psalm of the day; “You are my hiding place, o Lord; you save me from distress. You surround me with cries of deliverance” (vs.7). Let us not be like Adam and Eve who "hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden" (Gen. 3:8).

Let the Lord be our hiding place.