23. THE EVIL’S ORIGIN .You will be like gods

Created: Thursday, 12 September 2013 Last Updated: Monday, 31 March 2014

23. THE EVIL’S ORIGIN
You will be like gods


1. -    The problem of the evil seems to pall the first biblical teaching, id est, that the world and the life are a gift of God, and that the evil constitutes an objection directed to the faith’s heart itself, that confesses: “God is love” (1Jn 4, 8.16). If this is so, why is it possible the evil?. The experience of the evil frequently provokes similar affirmations: “There is no God” (Ps 10,4; 13.1), he is not just, he does not exist. Before the evil scandal, a second biblical teaching takes place (Gen 2-3): God is not guilty of the world’s evil
2. -    According to the first pages of the Genesis, there is no perfect continuity among the world of our experience and the original creation: in a certain moment a series of breakdowns is produced. In a world, which is good when coming out of God’s hands (Gen 1 and 2), a disturbing element comes in: the human sin (Gen 3). Everything is affected: the relationship with God, the relationship with the others (home, work), the hope of an eternal life (with the death as final). The narration, which redaction is placed about the tenth century before Christ, shows not only how the evil came to the world, but also how it continues living to day. The responsible is not God but the man.
3. -     According to God’s project, husband and wife are called to become “only one flesh” (Gen 2,24). Such is the paradisiacal and original figure of the marriage in a world that, as far as it came out of God’s hands, is good, very good, a human and habitable world, “a garden” (2,8). The relationship between husband and wife is harmonious, the communication is transparent: “Both the man and his wife were naked… but they were not ashamed one of the other” (2,25). Nevertheless, something very deep provokes the loss of this figure, the malediction, the disaffection, the abandonment.
4. -    With several images, the narration of Gen 3 describes (unmasks) the radical temptation. This presents the features that for the Israelites had the Canaanite cults in Palestine: a life project without the God of Israel. The serpent is the life, wisdom, fertility, eternal youth symbol. First it hypnotizes with her look, then it captures. It can not be looked front to front. That is what happens with the temptation. The “forbidden tree” is only one (3,3), but all of them look like that (3,1). It is the limit that, according to God’s word, should not be surpassed.
5. -      The narration is applicable to any singular couple, it shows the hidden reality of each person, it discovers what perhaps leaves obscured the happiness of the first feeling of love, what the conjugal living together will discover later on. The narration puts out that the man and the woman, in its deepest mistake, avoid God’s presence. They hide. God uses to take a walk through the garden of human life. But the man and the woman believe that God is not interesting to live, that God is envious, enemy of their happiness and of their life: “Your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil” (3,5). God appears, not like an illusion anymore, but like a lie, an oppression of which it is necessary to get free. They themselves will know (and will decide) on their own accord what is good and what is bad.
6. -    The primordial lie (see Jn 8,44) captivates because of its false appearance of goodness. The forbidden fruit seems “good to eat, desirable and excellent to reach wisdom” (Gen 3,6). The pretension of being like God, but without God, which implies the Canaanite life project, presents itself like realizable and desirable. The man and the woman eat of the forbidden fruit, and from there on a series of ruptures follow: with God, with the others, with oneself.
7. -     The rupture with the living God, the God of the Covenant, is radical, the foundation of all the rest. God’s steps are heard in this world’s garden, but the man withdraws from his presence, he hides. The contrary to the conversion takes place. The man refuges himself in the darkness, for “whoever does wrong hates the light for fear that his deeds will be shown like evil” (Jn 3,19-20).
8. -   The rupture between husband and wife already manifests in the accusation:  “The woman… “(Gen 3,12). God’s original project, which wants to make husband and wife only one flesh, cracks. Own responsibility is not assumed. On her part the woman says: “The serpent… “(3,13). In the future, the humanity “will step over the head of the serpent, but this will lurk her heel” (3, 15). So, it is important to be watchful.
9. -   The main human functions and activities become affected. According to the cultural scheme of the old world, the woman will remain at home and the man at work. The woman is not anymore the home queen, but the slave: “You will give birth to your children in pain. You will be dependent on your husband and he will lord it over you” (Gen 3, 16). The communication becomes discussion, selfishness opposition, mutual judgement, aggression. The love relationship becomes dominion and strength relationship. Maternity is lived without illusion, like a weight, with pain.
10. -    The rupture influence the work world too. The work is not anymore a creative, satisfactory and stimulant activity, but a hard, spiny, slaving reality: “Curse be the soil because of you… Thorn and thistle will produce… With sweat in your front you will eat your bread” (Gen 3,17-19). The work relationship degenerates in an exploitation relationship.
11. -    Without God, the man has no future, no hope, abandoned to the, natural in itself, process of the death: “You are dust and to dust you shall return” (Gen 3,19). The image of powder expresses the end of the man separated from God. Nevertheless, according to God’s project made evident in Christ, the death is a step from this world to the Father’s home (Jn 13, 1).
12. -    So, the couple rejects God, but with this, the only thing they do is to lock themselves the way that takes to the life’s tree (Gen 3,24). They remain “out of the garden”, out of the wonderful world, full of happiness and life, which God had created for them. Like the Babylonian “karibu” (half human shaped sentinels, that, placed at the temples gate, locked the separation between the sacred and the profane), the “cherubs”, with their “vibrant spade flame”, express in a symbolic form the situation in which stays the sinner man, a situation from which he cannot get out by himself
13. -    In the first chapters, the Bible also denounces big sins: Cain’s crime (Gen 4), the corruption of Noe´s contemporaries (Gen 6), the construction of the Babel’s tower (Gen 11). It is even questioned if the creation could have been worthy (Gen 6,7).  Conscience is progressively taken that sin is a universal event: “Jews as well as Greeks are all under the sin” (Rm 3,10; Ps 14,1-3;51,7). Nature, created for the man, participates in his destiny: she is submitted to the corruption servitude (Rm 8,21). If, as a hypothesis, all evil introduced by man could be suppressed, this world would be a garden. Jesus proclaims the need of a new birth to go into God´s kingdom (Jn 3,5). In relation to God we are blind from birth, which need to cure our original blindness in the envoy’s  swimming pool, in the community (Jn 9).
14. -    The original sin has not only been a bad example (Pelagianism, century V). It has hurt human nature, but it did not corrupt it (protestant reformation, century XVI). It has changed the man y has placed him “in a worse state” (Second Orange Council, DS 371; Trent Council, DS 1511). “Because of that all human life, individual and collective, is presented to us like a fight, dramatic over and above, between the evil and the goodness, between the darkness and the light. Even more, the man finds himself unable to efficiently resist by himself the evil´s attacks, until feeling himself like if he were chained and put away. And, certainly, the sin, makes the man smaller, and puts him away of the own plenitude consecution (Second Vatican Council, GS 13). To orient ourselves toward God with “plain efficacy, we necessarily must be supported by God´s grace” (GS 17). As Saint Paul says: “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Rm 5, 20). According to the Catholic Church Catechism, the original sin, although proper of each one, does not have in itself, “a personal fault character” (num. 405). And Jesus says to the man born blind: “Neither this man, nor his parents sinned” (Jn 9,3).
* Dialogue: Is the narration of Gn 3 present? Does it help to discern situations