The serpent said to the woman:
“You certainly will not die!
No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it
your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods
who know what is good and what is evil.”
The woman saw that the tree was good for food,
pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom.
So she took some of its fruit and ate it;
and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her,
and he ate it. (Gn 3:4-6)
We tend to place the blame on others for things that do not go right in our lives. If we are honest, we would admit that we do that because we do not like to admit when we are wrong. However, no matter how much another may influence our choices — for good or ill — it is still our own choice and we are responsible for making it.
The devil is the main player in today’s first reading at Mass. The devil, in the form of a serpent, tempts Eve to eat of the fruit of the tree from which God had forbidden them to eat. I think that a “serpent” is a perfect description for the devil. After all, a serpent can only slither on the ground. It cannot grab anyone. It cannot force someone physically to do anything. It can only be present.
The serpent tempted. Eve chose. Later, Eve would say that the serpent made her choose to eat of the fruit. That is so untrue.
The devil cannot make us chose to sin. All the devil can do is present an opportunity. Don’t get me wrong. The devil can make a pretty convincing case! He knows us well, knows our frail human nature, and knows how to best confuse us. However, God has given us the gift of free will and we make our own choices.
There will be many things that come our way today. We will be tempted to sin. We will be invited to be faithful. We will make our own choices about which we choose. Make sure that your choices are the proper ones today.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for those who are so weak that they frequently succumb to temptation, that they may have the strength to reject what is wrong and ask God for help.