Liturgically we make the events of Christ’s last week on earth part of our own spiritual sojourn. We walk with the Lord. We welcome Christ into our lives, recognizing that He comes to correct all of the troubles that have plagued humanity since Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden Tree.
Eating that fruit caused us to go astray, to miss the mark of what it is to be human. St. Ephrem the Syrian connects the eating of the forbidden fruit by Adam and Eve to the entirety of the Christian spiritual life. Eating of that forbidden fruit opens our eyes to see what it is like to live apart from God. We live in a world which can never satisfy our needs, but this is to create a longing in our heart for God. This is the purpose of Great Lent and Holy Week as well – to help us understand how life on earth is an exile from God, but we can also experience God on earth if we seek God with our heart, soul and mind.
“Who is there who can expound concerning that Tree which caused those who sought it to go astray?
It is an invisible target, hidden from the eyes, which wearies those who shoot at it.
It is both the Tree of Knowledge, and of ignorance:
it is the cause of knowledge, for by it a person knows
what is the gift that was lost, and the punishment that took place.
Blessed is that Fruit which has mingled a knowledge
of the Tree of Life into mortals.”
Lent reminds us of the exile we live in on earth. It reminds us that this life is not the totality of existence, but rather there is a greater reality awaits all those who seek union with the Living God.
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