Man’s Mission — Friday, 3rd Week in Ordinary Time—Year II

In the beginning, the Lord God settled the man in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it. Then the Lord made the man a partner suitable for himself. Each day had seen God make greater and greater creations and on this last day, God makes His final, ultimate creation: woman.

The man beholds her with joy. He authors her name, which points to his authority, yet this authority is not meant for dominance but service, like the authority exercised by Christ. The man is meant to work to nuture and guard the garden and to nurture and guard his wife.

Before the Fall, all work was free from toil. Work carried with it no pains, no exhaustion, no boredom or strain—only feelings of satisfaction, creative accomplishment, and pleasure like those which we still sometimes enjoy from doing a job well done.

The man was placed in the garden with an important job to do, to nurture and protect, but he neglected his duty, and this led to the Fall. For where was he when the cunning serpent was out of place and out of line enticing his wife towards death? Maybe he was off sleeping on the job, taking an afternoon nap somewhere, like David in the first reading:

‘At the turn of the year, when kings go out on campaign, David, however, remained in Jerusalem. One evening David rose from his siesta and strolled about on the roof of the palace (for he had nothing else to do) and from the roof he saw a woman bathing, who was very beautiful.’

David forgets about his kingly work and duty, to fight the good fight, and from this comes his fall. He exploits the power of his authority and sins against a woman he should to honor and defend.

Our lives are meant to more than just our work, but faithfulness to some form of work before God is meant to be a part of our lives. Our work helps us to be good and to do good for others. Maybe you’re retired now, but if you’re still here on earth then the Lord must still have some important work for you.

What work has the Lord entrusted to you? Be as faithful to it as you ought so that Christ, the new Adam, may grow His virtues in you and harvest good works in you.

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