Creation, Fall and Redemption
First Sunday of Lent (A)

Antonio P. Pueyo
Reproduced with Permission

He was a privileged young man. He had everything going for him, a loving family, wealth, and social connections. Then he was dared to try drugs. He could not resist the peer pressure and the curiosity. He became hooked. He was placed in a rehabilitation center where he finally recovered, with his family’s love and support. She was an honor student. Her father wanted to send her to medical school. While in college she got romantically involved with a classmate who abandoned her when she got pregnant. She was afraid to come home but her parents looked for her and brought her home. Now her daughter is enjoying the loving attention of grandma and grandpa. She is once more back to medical school.

Action starter: Pray for this conviction -- the Cross is the harbinger of life.

We can multiply the stories, but the original one is contained in the story of Genesis, the first reading. It is the story of Adam and Eve. It is the story of paradise lost. The story did not end in the loss. It continued with Jesus, the new Adam. As St. Paul says in the second reading, through one man’s disobedience we have been alienated from God, but through one man’s obedience we are restored to the Divine favor.

We are entering into the season of Lent. It is a time that reminds us of the human journey of fall and redemption. As the Gospel tells us, everyone is tempted. Even the Lord Jesus experienced temptation while praying in the desert. A temptation is a proposal that comes from the Evil One. He is trying to sell us a bundle of goods (pun intended). He makes what is evil appear good to us. It is good to eat the forbidden fruit. You will be like gods. And Adam succumbed. It is good to have power, popularity, and wealth in exchange for the Cross. This was the temptation of Jesus. Jesus did not give in to the temptation.

The good news is that the human journey did not end with the fall. God sent His only Son to redeem us. Redemption is greater than the fall. The early theologians and fathers of the church even went so far as to call sin a “happy fault” because of which God sent His Son into the world. The point of the church fathers is not that we should sin, but rather that we should be grateful.

By Jesus’ dying on the cross, there came a new direction to human history. The downward journey that began with Adam’s fall was arrested. Jesus raised us up to His Father. There is a new turn to human history. The journey goes forward and upward. This is true not only to humanity in general. This paradigm of innocence, fall and redemption is played out in every person’s life. We experience temptation. We fall into sin. We look for redemption and absolution. We want to have a new direction to our life.

Redemption is possible. It is a reality. It is available. It begins once we allow Jesus to take over our life. We surrender ourselves to His power, acknowledging that by ourselves we are powerless. Jesus saves. Jesus can help us overcome the wiles of the evil one. This experience has been the experience of many people who have gone through the downward journey of alcoholism, drug addiction, political corruption, and a life of crime. Redemption begins once they surrender their lives to the Lord.

The journey of redemption passes through the road of Calvary. It is not an easy journey. It is the Way of the Cross.