Fr. Francis Scaria
It is very pleasant reading the first chapter of the Bible, the first chapter of the Book of Genesis. In the evenings of the third, fourth, fifth and sixth days of creation, the Lord was very happy about what he had accomplished. “And God saw that it was good” (Gen 1:12, 18, 21, 25). After having prepared the earth to His own satisfaction, God created human beings. The climax was the creation of human beings. Now the Scriptural grading moves from ‘good’ to ‘very good’ (Gen 1:31). Isn’t it pleasant to our ears to have these verses read to us! The man who was given a suitable companion too was happy to express the joy of his heart in finding the “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” (Gen 2:23).
This joyful episode turns sour in Gen 3 when tricked by the serpent the woman ate the forbidden fruit and shared the sin with her husband. The woman assigned greater value to the word of the serpent than to the Word of God, her Creator. The man listened to voice of his wife ignoring the Word of God. The following chapter describing the murder of Abel by his own brother Cain brings the story to yet another tragic turn.
Such stories of sin repeated over and over again in the length and breadth of the inhabited areas of the globe makes the inspired writer scribble: “And the Lord was sorry that he had made human kind on the face of the earth, and it grieved him to his heart” (Gen 6:6). Who can understand this grief of the Creator? It is not seldom that the people of Israel grieved the Lord. The Psalmist asks: “How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved him in the desert!” (Ps 78:40).
In 1 Sam 9 we read that the Lord lavished his favours on Saul, a handsome, tall, young man. The Lord asked his prophet Samuel to anoint him as the first king of Israel and poured out His Spirit on him. Yet the scene became dismal as 1 Sam 15:35 records: “Samuel grieved over Saul. And the Lord was sorry that he had made Saul king over Israel”.
Mk 10:17-22 tells us the story of a rich young man who disappointed Jesus because of his difficulty in parting with his possessions for the sake of the poor although he had a strong desire to inherit eternal life.
It grieves the Lord to the heart when we refuse to do what He wants us to, for God wills our welfare. Many of us refuse even to discern the will of God, for fear of being asked to do something we would not like to. Adam committed a grave sin when he listened to his wife ignoring the voice of the Lord (cf. Gen 3:17). Eve committed a grave sin when she listened to the cunning serpent rather than to the Lord (cf. Gen 3:13). Saul committed a grave sin when he listened to the people more than to the voice of the Lord (cf. 1 Sam 15:10,24). Solomon failed before God’s eyes, when he listened to his foreign wives more than to the voice of the Lord (cf. 1 Kgs 11:1-13). Today it is our turn to make a choice. Let us listen to the advice of St. Paul: “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption” (Eph 4:30). We have the example of our heavenly mother to follow who said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word” (Lk 1:38).
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