Monday, July 8, 2013

The Eucharist in Genesis' Story of the Fall

Tonight at Mass something caught my ear.  I am sure that I have heard the words before; but their significance had not registered. It was the preface to the Eucharistic Prayer (Preface of Sundays in Ordinary Time III):

"For we know it belongs to your boundless glory,

that you came to the aid of mortal beings with your divinity

and even fashioned for us a remedy out of mortality itself,

that the cause of our downfall

might become the means of our salvation,

through Christ our Lord."
Now, I am constantly amazed at the interrelation of the Old Testament and the New, the way that God inspired writers living hundreds, sometimes a thousand, years before Jesus' birth in their recording of history and use of imagery.  Take the first chapters of Genesis for instance:  It relates the Creation and Fall of humanity in language accessible to anyone - real historical events recorded in imagery that even a child can enter into.  But look at how the imagery employed by the author lines up with events in Jesus' life.  (This is what is called a typological reading of Scripture):

Garden of Eden
Garden of Gethsemane / Garden Tomb
Adam & Eve chose own will
Christ prayed, “Father, Thy will be done”
Tree of Life
Tree of Knowledge
Tree of the Cross
Adam put into a deep sleep, and Eve built up from rib taken from Adam’s side
Christ in the sleep of death, as water (Baptism) and blood (Eucharist) flow from His pierced side, giving birth to the Church

But look back at today's preface to the Eucharistic Prayer - look at what I had missed all these years!

Spiritual and physical death because they ate the forbidden fruit.
Spiritual and (ultimately) physical life because we eat the Body and drink the Blood of Jesus (Jn 6:53-58)

Mind blown.  The Father's means for continually filling us with His Son's divine and human life explains why the author of Genesis was inspired to use the image of eating a forbidden food in the story of the Fall!

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