THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2019
IN THE WAY OF JESUS AND MARY
February 16, 2019
Today’s reading: Genesis 3:9-24
We are called to be families on mission. Our basic mission
is to evangelize, to proclaim the gospel of salvation in Jesus,
to help bring people to the fullness of faith. Because the
devil has dominion over the whole world (usurping the dominion
of God), our work of evangelization brings us into direct
conflict with him. Thus we engage in spiritual warfare.
our model for a family on mission is the divine family. The
home of Mary and Joseph was the environment of love, support
and learning that helped prepare Jesus for his divine mission.
And our model for a family engaged in spiritual war, destined
by God for all eternity, is that of Jesus and Mary, Son and
mother. When Adam and Eve fell at the instance of the serpent,
God said to the snake: “I will put enmity between you
and the woman, and between your offspring and hers”
(v.15a). The snake is Satan, the woman is Mary, the offspring
is first of all Jesus and then also all his disciples. They
would be engaged in spiritual combat until the end of time.
this war, Jesus and Mary, and later on Christians (authentic
ones, that is), are victorious. “They will strike at
your head, while you strike at their heel.” (v.15b).
The blow to the serpent’s head is deadly. The strike
at our heels brings injury but does not bring us down. Jesus
already crushed the head of the serpent by his death and resurrection.
But the tail of the serpent still thrashes about, still bringing
many to damnation. So, even with ultimate victory assured,
we are still engaged in deadly combat.
How will God’s victory come about in our family lives?
each member of the family is to have an intimate relationship
with God, as He intends. This was the relationship of Adam
and Eve with God, as they walked, talked and communed with
Him in Eden. The relationship soured when they sinned. When
God was seeking them in the garden, Adam answered: “I
heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked,
so I hid.” (v.10). Though we are to fear God, that is,
to be in awe of Him, we must know that God is our loving Father,
Jesus is our friend and the Holy Spirit is our constant companion.
We are to enter more deeply into a relationship with the Triune
married couples are to have a relationship of love, mutual
respect and subordination (this is about dignity and not specific
roles), and support, all in purity and holiness, according
to God’s intent. If not, then sin easily enters the
relationship, and causes dysfunction. What are the results
Loss of purity and holiness. At the start, Adam and Eve
were naked but felt no shame. They enjoyed sexual relations
as God intended. Now they realized they were naked and hid.
“Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten
from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat?”
(v.11). Sin turns God’s intent upside-down. Today
many people flaunt their nakedness and have no shame, but
this is not because of purity and innocence as intended
by God in the garden, but due to licentiousness and loss
of peace in the home. Authentic love brings about peace,
which is founded on virtues such as patience, tolerance,
forgiveness and mercy. There will be disagreements in marriage,
but these can all be worked out in the Lord. There will
be mistakes committed, but these can be resolved. With Adam
however, when confronted by God, he immediately put the
blame on Eve. “The woman whom you put here with meshe
gave me fruit from the tree, so I ate it.” (v.12).
It is your fault, Lord, for giving her to me. Many spouses
today do not take responsibility for their wrong actions,
but put the blame on others, including their spouse.
Loss of God-given roles, intended by God to preserve unity
in the home. Man is priest, protector and provider. Woman
is helpmate and nurturer. Even after the fall, God reiterated
to Eve what was the norm. “Yet your urge shall be
for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” (v.16b).
Unfortunately, many husbands have not lived out their proper
roles. They have not known Christ and so have not brought
their families to Christ. They have at times even being
the abusers of their wives. They have failed to provide
and have even abandoned their families. In turn, many women
reject their God-given role. They do not understand subordination,
and feminists would want to do whatever men do. Women want
to become like men, while men have become sissified. There
is a loss of true masculinity and femininity, as roles have
Loss of intended prosperity for God’s people. Adam
and Eve had everything in Eden. It was a perfect existence
in a perfect world. God provides for His people. To his
chosen people Israel, God promised prosperity, if only they
would remain faithful to Him. God created a bountiful world
and there is enough for everyone. But today we have widespread
poverty, and many families are in dire straits. This is
one result of sin. As God told Adam, “Cursed is the
ground because of you! In toil you shall eat its yield all
the days of your life. Thorns and thistles it shall bear
for you, and you shall eat the grass of the field.”
(v.17b-18). Today man abuses and degrades the environment,
causing widespread ecological mayhem.
God’s victory comes about in our family lives when parents
pass on the faith, in the process forming children in the
home, by their example and instruction. This is done by bringing
children to Christ and covering them with the mantle of protection
of our Mother Mary. The intent is to prepare their children
for mission. They are made aware of the spiritual war that
rages, where there is enmity between Satan and Mary, and between
demonic forces and Jesus together with us all (v.15a). We,
the children of Mary and the disciples of Jesus, are to continue
to strike at the head of the devil, as we ourselves suffer
oppression, persecution and affliction (v.15b). Such Christian
formation and work is to be passed on to our children and
our children’s children, through the generations, until
the end of time.
Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden, with God “stationing
the cherubim and the fiery revolving sword east of the garden
of Eden, to guard the way to the tree of life.” (v.24).
But Jesus the new Adam and Mary the new Eve opens up the new
Eden to us, which is heaven. We just need to faithfully struggle
through this valley of tears according to God’s ways.
on mission thrive as they have their holy relationship with
God, with spouse and with children, and as they move out into
the world as holy warriors. “As for me and my household,
we will serve the Lord.”