Second Career

He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” (Gn 3:11)

ACCOUNTABILITY TIME …

Our Bible story for this cartoon comes from Gn 3:9-20. Some might say it’s the story of “the fall,” though it’s actually more accurate to describe it as a story of accountability.

In this story, Adam and Eve become aware for the first time that they are naked. Then they hear the voice of God and hide from Him. God asks Adam where he is. Of course, God knew exactly where Adam was and why. But it was time for Adam to examine his conscience and answer a few questions.

LET’S TALK …

Because Adam didn’t seem to understand the “corporate (Kingdom) culture” in the Garden, he and Eve found themselves in search of a second career outside the Garden. This story has more to teach us than “Thou shalt not …,” however. It foreshadows a problem in the Church right now! Many Catholics apparently don’t understand the “Kingdom-Church Culture” to which they belong.

Let’s talk …

THE BACKGROUND …

God had told Adam he could eat from any tree or plant in the Garden except one. Under no circumstances was he to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God warned Adam if he ever did, he would surely die.

Adam apparently believed God, at least, for a little while. But then something diabolical happened. The serpent used Eve to convince Adam it was okay to eat the forbidden fruit.

“That’s not the way it is,” the serpent said to Eve. “God didn’t literally mean that. It was just a metaphor — a symbol for something else. As you become wiser, you’ll understand what God really meant,” Satan continued.

“Just look at the fruit!” the evil one continued. “What do your eyes tell you? What does your nose say? Taste it and you will know this delicious fruit won’t kill you! You can trust your five senses, but you can’t trust your understanding of what God says!”

Friends, that’s just “cartoon dialogue,” of course. It’s not an actual quote from the Bible. But the cartoon dialogue reflects a very important point:

Adam fell prey to ( literally ) the oldest trick in the Book. He believed his five senses and his personal knowledge over the Word of God.

Here’s the really unbelievable part of this story. Even with the benefit of having the Church (which Adam didn’t have access to), Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition (which Adam didn’t have access to either), there are Catholics today who are falling for the EXACT SAME TRICK that Satan used to trap Adam!

THE MODERN VERSION …

A recent survey revealed that about 70% of practicing Catholics do not believe in the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist!!! God was at least as clear about the real presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament as He was about the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Let’s look at what the Word of God tells us about this:

  • “I am the bread of life.  (Jn 6:35)
  • “… whoever believes has eternal life.  I am the bread of life.” (Jn 6:48)
  • Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.  This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. (Jn 6:49-50)
  •  I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (Jn 6:51)
  •  So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. (Jn 6:53)
  • Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life … my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. (Jn 6:54-55)
  • Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them  … whoever eats me will live because of me. (Jn 6:56-57)
  • … the one who eats this bread will live forever.” (Jn 6:58)

“The one who eats this bread will live forever.”

This is exactly the same message He gave to Adam, except instead of warning about dying, He gave directions for living — for eternal life!

MORE TO THE STORY …

If you still believe “the real presence” is just a metaphor, compare the passages above with more Scripture found elsewhere in the Bible.

  • While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you;  for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (Mt 26-28).

You’ll find the same message being echoed again and again at Mk 14:22-24; Lk 22:17-20; and 1 Cor 11:23-25 also. As often as He repeats this in the Bible, a wise person might conclude that it is a very important message from God’s perspective. So let’s wrap this up!

MAKE A DECISION …

A decision is a powerful force. It’s time for a lot of Catholics to step up and make a decision. Here are two points to pray about and make a decision about too:

  • “Sacred Scripture is inspired by God so it can be trusted, and it is of great value to mankind. (2 Tim 3:16-17)” … what’s your decision on this?
  • “The Church has authority. And since that authority comes from God, His children should listen and submit to that authority. (Mt 16:18-19; Acts 16:4; 1 Tim 3:14-15)“ … what’s your decision on this?

Wrestle with God if you must, but insist that He bless you with wisdom on this matter. Then believe what the Bible says and do what the Church tells you that you must do. We’re praying for you!

In Christ!

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