Grace to you!
We continue our reflection based on The Book of Genesis. Today, I would reflect on the pleasant irony of the parallels of sin and grace; and how God does not leave us without hope and opportunities.
You have a colleague, a friend, a sibling, a spouse or a child. The person has some of the rarest potentials anyone could have. You see him or her, and you see the blessings of God in abundance. Incredible gifts, talents and many things are going for the person. Yet, the person does the most ridiculous of misdeeds. In fact, his or her actions leave a terrible bad taste on your moral sense.
You’ve probably seen people like that. You wonder how they are so gifted, but unfortunately act ridiculously careless. You wish they could understand how much they are blessed, and how better they could be if they followed the way of righteousness and credibility.
The point is, we see this paradox all the time around us. Where there is the good, there is the constant knock of evil. It has been part of human history right from the beginning. We wonder why and wished it could have been different. In the meantime, such is the world in which we live. Such is the reality of human existence on earth. Such is the nature of life for which redemption by grace is the right path.
Without the reality of the fall of sin, there wouldn’t be the triumph of grace. We appreciate grace because we know the menaces of sin. The joy of Easter morning is celebrated in the heart of the redeemed since they witnessed the brokenness of Good Friday also. In God’s plan, a fall is followed by yet another opportunity. This is complete opposite to the world of evil, whose evil, fall, is aimed to be the final destination, leaving victims without hope.
We read from The Book of Genesis, this dynamics of sin and grace. Scripture Scholar M. N. Sarna suggests that “God’s chastisement and grace operate simultaneously, so that out of the disaster comes renewal” (Nahum M. Sarna, Genesis, The JPS Torah Commentary (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1989), 48.).
The Lord who is presented as denouncing the wickedness of humanity is also presented as identifying the righteous Noah (Gn 6:5-8). God’s justice to wipe the wickedness off the face of the earth is contrasted with His mercy and righteous decision to save humanity as well.
The Church Fathers would look at the story of Noah, and Noah in particular, as a figure of Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, whose complete obedience to the Father, is the source of human redemption. Just as Noah is presented as the righteous amidst the wickedness of human kind, the Lord Jesus Christ is our righteousness.
The Covenant with Noah, which would happen after the flood is for us, God’s testimonial of peace and mercy for the whole of human race.
Biblical stories constantly show us this parallel between sin and grace, darkness and light, condemnation and salvation. This, for me, is one of the fascinating things about God. God always makes us understand that “where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Rm 5:20).
Not with the terrible story of the human depravity from the book of the beginning, nor with a current state of wickedness at different levels, does God leave us without hope. Christ is our hope (1 Tim 1:1). Our righteousness and our grace. Hold on to him. You will triumph over evil.
Praying for the grace to believe. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Tuesday Week 6 Ordinary Time: Gn 6:5-8; 7:1-5,10; Mk 8:14-21]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.