Say goodbye to Ordinary Time and the placid green colours around our churches; Lent is here. Ashes, mourning, fasting, prayer, repentance, almsgiving and a whole bunch of purple will be with us for the next month and a half. It’s great! Not because it’s fun and festive, but because the Lord God is calling us back to Himself. The words that we heard while Father traced a cross of ashes on our foreheads last Wednesday should resound in us all throughout Lent: “Repent and believe in the Gospel.”
The first people to not believe in the goodness of God, were His first children, Adam and Eve. In our First Reading this Sunday, the book of Genesis gives us the tragic story of how Adam and Eve fell from grace.
It’s important to see what “fell from grace” means to properly understand things surrounding it. As I’ve said on Seeking the Word before, grace is God’s own divine life. When we receive grace, we receive God’s own divine life into our own life by the Holy Spirit. This is what makes us Sons of God (see Romans 8:15). We become partakers of His divine nature (see 2 Peter 1:4). We share His likeness. But when Adam and Eve sinned, they spiritually died (God told them they would in Genesis 2:17). They lost the life of grace within them. They lost God who is life Himself. This is what original sin is. It is not something that we gained, but something that we lost. And having lost it, we could not pass on what we did not have. Hence, original sin is “transmitted” to every human being born after (except Jesus and Mary of course) as a lack. Something’s always missing now.