TUESDAY: Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Protecting our Baptismal Robe
In the fall of Adam, God the Father prefigured the ultimate purpose for Christ’s Passion, Death, Resurrection and Exultation. He immediately demonstrated for us the consequences of sin and the dignity of obedience to the voice of God (Rom.6:23) – all so beautifully personified in the temptations of Christ (Matt.4:1-11) and summarized in Paul’s discourse on the humility of Christ (Phil.2:6-11). Simultaneously, God exposed the fragile nature of the human flesh. Thus in the fall of Adam, God forewarned us that the children of Adam are all victims of the devil’s cunning as long as they rely on the own resources and strength or try to compete for equality with God. However, in Jesus, God gave us the ideal example of what it entails being a true child of God.
Perpetual vigilance, humility, obedience and meekness are invaluable treasures if we are to model Christ Jesus in our daily life. Such must be the qualities of God’s children in the world. The disobedience of Adam is proof that God’s love is everlasting. It endures forever. Even when in Adam the whole of humankind wandered far from his friendship. God did not abandon us to our own demise. He sent his Beloved Son that all who believe in him would not perish but have eternal life (Jn.3:16-17). Long before he sent his Son, God himself pursued our ancestors in faith to the point of exhaustion (Ps.95:10-11). He is the God of love, mercy, compassion and solidarity, not a God of vengeance (Hos.11:1-9). He never gives up on us. God is more prodigal in his love for us than we can be extravagant in our sinfulness and disobedience (Lk.15:11-32).
For this reason, Paul concludes his discourse in Romans 5:12.15.17-21 by reminding us that where sin abounds, grace flows in greater abundance. Christ for his part employs two beautiful and powerful metaphors to define grace. He speaks of grace as a divine garment and a lighted lamp (Lk.12:35). Much later Christ would later reemploy both metaphors to justify the reason why the hundred and forty-four thousand were seen serenading the risen Lord. Because they did not succumb to the powers of the flesh, they washed the robes white in the blood of the lamb (Rev.7:14).
The parable of the ten bridesmaids similarly depicts the need for proper stewardship, prudence and perpetual vigilance (Matt.25:1-13). Just as God crept up on Adam and Eve in the garden and requested of them an account of their reckless behaviour, so too God forewarns us he will call us to account at the end of time for our stewardship here on earth. The warning is, be humble, meek and obedient. Do not allow the lure of sin to direct us away from God’s presence. We must keep our baptismal robes untarnished by the promises of the devil and all will be well with us at the dawn of Christ second coming.
Lord, preserve me. Keep me safe from temptation and sin.