Genesis 3:1-8

1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 

6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons. 8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 

Mark 7:31-37

31 Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, through the region of the Decapolis. 32 And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech; and they besought him to lay his hand upon him. 

33 And taking him aside from the multitude privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue; 

34 and looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” 35 And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. 36 And he charged them to tell no one; but the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. 

37 And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well; he even makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.”


THE FIRST READING: Immediately after the creation of man the author uses a pseudonym to alert us of the presence of a sly, treacherous clandestine figure who is also part of the cosmic creation. The characterization of the fallen angel known as Lucifer signals the presence of danger! Lucifer launches into the dialogue with a question that presuppose he had knowledge of God’s ordinances that has a penalty of death by framing his question to instil a state of rebelliousness! 

Eve is convinced by the serpent’s proposition that no person should have impediments that limit their need to self gratification, pleasure and power.These are traits that the serpent holds up as ‘rights’ that each individual is entitled to, leads Adam and Eve to commit a mortal sin!We notice that Adam is silent during the discourse.

The Church teaches: 1859 Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God’s law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart133 do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin

The aftermath of man’s contumacious acts induced a state of shame, self pity and withdrawal into obscurity from light into darkness when the couple’s human faculties of reason and discernment were ignored and overrun by their zealousness of freedom from responsibility and causation! 

St MARK takes us to a Hellinistic city that was also populated by Jews. A man who was deaf and had a speech impediment was brought to our Lord possible by friends or family who desired that this man should have full use of his faculties of sound and speech!

Our Lord takes the man ‘aside’ implying that a private discourse was had that resulted in a religious ceremony and heavenly invocation that opened the man’s ability to hear and speak. Our Lord’s request that this miracle not be blurted out publicly could not be contained by this exuberant man whose ‘new found’ faculties allowed him to use all his cognitive senses and abilities to share the good news. 

You and I who are gifted with human faculties that allow us to reason and discern between right and wrong albeit imperfectly,cannot use our ‘impediments’ as reasons to justify disordered actions and desires to wilfully challenge the natural order of creation to appease and give expression to our senses and desires.  Instead we are called to live and make known the naked truth of the gospel of Christ Jesus our savior! 

LET US PRAY: Psalms 32:1-2,5-7

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 

2 Blessed is the man to whom the LORD imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. 5 I acknowledged my sin to thee, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”; then thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin. 6 Therefore let every one who is godly offer prayer to thee; at a time of distress, in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him. 7 Thou art a hiding place for me, thou preservest me from trouble; thou dost encompass me with deliverance.

Catholic Witness Apostolate       Henry R SYLVESTER              

Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days of saints around the world.

Catholic Witness Apostolate
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