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  • Sarah Raad

Banishment

God provides for us always – even when we reject Him completely.

Expulsion from Paradise (Giuseppe Cesari)

Today I was praying for a personal intention of mine. It was nothing major – just a frustrating little thing that started niggling over the last few days.


As I prayed, the words I used were vague – Help please God – I mean, what else could you possibly say when you are not even really sure the extent of the problem or how you want it to be resolved.


I know that what I required was nothing serious – not really, when you consider the big picture – but the problem was annoying just the same and I wanted help to deal with the annoyance without losing my mind or putting it out of perspective!


During the course of the day, as I was complaining about this little problem to my mother, I described it to her as a spot of bad luck.


But perhaps the Holy Spirit worked through my mum for me today because she did not see it as bad luck at all. Mum reminded me about a different problem I had been dealing with over the last few weeks. This new problem – which is a far less significant matter – was a great distraction and even a possible solution to the first issue!

The second problem consumed the first – far larger – problem and without my even seeing it.

Lucky me! God HELPED!


The First Reading in Mass this morning (Genesis 3:9-24) was the story of the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden.


The story is vividly familiar to me and I have enjoyed listening to it many times since my childhood.


I know Adam’s excuse, “she gave me the fruit, and I ate it” and Eve’s “the serpent tempted me and I ate”, I know that as a result of this temptation and Sin that now, “dust you are and to dust you shall return”. And I have heard “He banished the man, and in front of the garden of Eden He posted the cherubs, and the flame of a flashing sword, to guard the way to the tree of life.”


Yet though the story is vividly familiar to me, today something stood out as though God had written it expressly for my ears to hear it today…


“The Lord God made clothes out of skins for the man and his wife, and they put them on…. So the Lord God expelled him from the garden of Eden, to till the soil from which he had been taken.”


And suddenly – as though everything was coming together in my mind in a blinding flash – I saw some part of the perfection of the Almighty Judge!


Adam and Eve disobeyed God and RUINED everything by eating from that Tree – now there was sin, where before there had been none, and SIN is an OFFENCE against God.


Now they – and we – would die. Now they would not see God. Now they could potentially be cast into Hell and separated from God who loves them – and us – Infinitely.


Now, they knew evil.


And yet, despite destroying everything, when God – for their own good – had been protecting them, and although He had every right to cast them into Hell then and there, God did not…

Instead, God – seeing that they were naked and knowing that they realised their nakedness – clothed them.

God Helped!


He provided!


Not only did God clothe the man and the woman, but God Himself MADE their clothes!


Right then and there, when He was most strongly REJECTED and OFFENDED by us – then, God provided for us. When there was no possible way, we could ever justify our actions or choices or make amends to God – then and there, God GAVE us what we needed.


And today, just as I deal with all the aggravations of my daily life, God provides for me too, as He provides for you – even in this – OUR BANISHMENT!


For with prayer everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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