The Scriptural story of our human genesis is also an expression and interpretation of the origin of our human condition. It is a vivid tale which explains why our lives are inevitably wrought with hardship and anxiety, but it is also a lesson for us to remember that this human condition is not what God makes of it, but what and how we shape it ourselves.
The mistaken judgments we make in relation to the Spirit and to others because of our innate and untampered pride and avarice, are the root causes of our earthly misery.
However, the same story also teaches us that God will never leave us alone in our self-inflicted difficulties. Our joyful and hopeful future is the collaborative project of two spirits – his Spirit and mine.
God is both a “hard god” and a “soft god”. He is the uncompromising paternal figure who wields a divine authority that should not be questioned, and who promulgates rules that demand total obedience, if we expect to enjoy the utopian best for our human condition. But he is also the understanding maternal figure who listens with a divine compassion, and who may even bend rules if only to give mercy to those who have succumbed to the pressure of an unjust social order. In the midst of such intolerable pressure, God will ever remain a “correcting god” and a “caring god”, both a just and merciful Spirit.
However, our rebellious resistance is much less than ideal. We often act as if we don’t want to be corrected, and we often act as if we don’t want to be cared for. But even as we continue to lie about our innocence or rationalize our guilt, God continues to believe in us. In spite of our defects and weaknesses, he is confident that we are still responsible and conscientious creatures. He is aware of the great depths of our human potential. And if he thinks his intervention is necessary, then for the love of us, God will strike at the core of evil, in order to enable humanity to uplift itself by responding accordingly and responsibly to his love, thereby conquering evil rather than remaining to be its perpetual victim.
Our Blessed Mother Mary is humanity at its finest – she responded accordingly and responsibly to the love of God. Though she fully embraced the drudgery and labors that came with the human condition, she overcame it with the pious practice of faith, hope and charity. She was completely confident in the companionship of her Lord, so she was much more disposed to holy obedience. She never said that she didn’t have any shortcomings, but her childlike trust ensured her total dominance over evil for all time.
Mary, in her simple humility, gives us the image of one who can transform the human condition, who can serve best the kingdom of God.
On this day, may we bestow upon her our deepest love and respect for the model-servant that we should all become.
Brother Jess Matias is a professed brother of the Secular Franciscan Order. He serves as minister of the St. Pio of Pietrelcina Fraternity at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Mandaluyong City, coordinator of the Padre Pio Prayer Groups of the Capuchins in the Philippines and prison counselor and catechist for the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.
The views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of LiCAS.news.