Adam where are you – Emmanuel Ojeifo

The first reading of today’s Mass is set within the context of the
Fall. Adam and Eve expressly flouted God’s commandment and
they lost the original grace with which God created them. In the
question God poses to Adam as he comes into the Garden of Eden,
“Adam, where are you?” (Gen. 3:9) we have a soul-stirring
interrogation that reverberates through history. God is constantly
asking after us; he is constantly in search of us; he is interested in
what we are doing not because he wants to choke us with an
overbearing presence or deprive us of our freedom but because he
wants to see that we are doing that which brings ultimate
happiness. His question does not presuppose that he does not
know where we are or what we are up to. No. He’s omniscient, he
is all-knowing. On the contrary, he seeks by that question to hold
us to account.
This logic of accountability is further revealed in the three
questions that God poses, two to Adam and one to Eve in the same
reading. He asks Adam, “Who told you that you were naked? Have
you been eating from the tree which I commanded you not to eat?”
To Eve, God says: “What is this that you have done?” Another
version of Scripture puts it this way: “Why have you done this?”
This question by God to Eve is triggered by Adam’s reply that the
woman God have him is responsible for leading him astray. We will
see this constant desire of God to impress upon us the ideal of
accountability when we go further to the next chapter in the Book
of Genesis where God asked Cain after he murdered his brother
Abel, “Cain, where is your brother Abel?” (Gen. 4:9). Cain tries to
evade accountability by replying to God, “I do not know where my
brother is. Am I my brother’s keeper?”
I recall those moments when as a kid I was doing something
wrong or was in the wrong place and then a stirring voice is heard
– the voice of my father or my mother- calling, “Emmanuel, where
are you? What are you doing there?” These are parental question
that seek accountability. With Adam, this sort of questioning
exposes wrongdoing for what it truly is, namely trying to hide from
God. This is clearly Adam’s response: “I heard you calling in the
Garden but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself.”
But can we really hide from God? No. The author of Psalm 139
expresses this truth with remarkable clarity when he says:
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light around me be night,”
even darkness is not dark for you;
and the night is as clear as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
(Ps 139:7-12).
Jesus has come to seek us out of our hiding places and to save
that which was lost (Lk. 19:10). The parable motif of the strong
man in today’s Gospel is about Christ. He is indeed the Strong
Man who overpowers the ancient Serpent and binds him in chains
so as to prevent him from further wreaking havoc on the elect of
God and plundering God’s property (Mk. 3:20-35). “The reason the
Son of God was revealed to us in the flesh was to destroy the
works of Satan” (1 Jn. 3:8).

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3 Comments

  1. Good update

  2. Lol

  3. Ok

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