by Sr. Pia Ignatius, O.Carm.
Poor Eve really gets a bum rap in the Bible. In a moment of weakness she succumbs to peer pressure and eats from the tree of knowledge. We’ve all had our Eve moments. Most of those moments probably happened in school when we were struggling to fit in and not be different. But we can all look back on our lives and remember times when we did something, with full knowledge of it being wrong, just to not be different or cause waves.
Let’s take a second look at what Eve really did. She was told by our Lord not to eat from the tree of knowledge. That sounds familiar doesn’t it? How many times have we been told by our parents or loved ones ‘don’t touch that’? And how many times has someone come up to you and said ‘forget what they said, I know better.’ And we believe them, only to regret almost immediately our actions. But what did Eve really do? She decided to believe a stranger over Our Lord, our Creator who loves us dearly. Again, sound familiar? Think back to a time when your mother said to you, ‘I don’t like so and so, you shouldn’t hang out with them. They are bad news.’ And what did you think or say in reply? Probably something along the lines of ‘you don’t know what you are talking about I know better’. And in the end what happens? The whole thing blows up in your face. This scenario plays out countless times throughout our lives. It just changes location, from the school yard, to work, to the local bar. Same premise just in a different wrapping.
Now dig deeper. What did Eve fail to do? What is the one thing she could have done to help her learn and give her the strength to say no? She could have gone back to our Lord and talked to Him. And now we come to Mary, the new Eve.
The Archangel Gabriel presents to Mary a proposition. She had free will, as we all do, and she could have said no. In Luke 1:29 Mary was perplexed and pondered. She thought about what Gabriel said. She even questioned it! In Luke 1:34 she doubted and basically said (in modern layman terms) um, you’re crazy I can’t be pregnant I’ve never had sex. Gabriel doesn’t yell at her or demand that she blindly obeys. No, he explained exactly what was to happen and not only that but told her that she will not go through it alone. Luke 1:36 tells us that Elizabeth, her relative is also pregnant. So now this scary thing isn’t so scary anymore because she has a friend to travel on this journey with. And Mary said yes.
When in your life have you reached a cross road? A life changing decision must be made. Picking what college to go to, accepting a job promotion, or getting married. Did you turn to the Lord asking for guidance? Or maybe something negative happens in your life and you turn to our Lord and ask why did you let this happen to me? Either way you asked. And then you look around to find your Elizabeth. Ever hear the expression ‘God only gives you what he knows you can handle’? Mary was about 14 years old. Just let that sink in for a bit. Mary like Eve had a choice to make. And unlike Eve, Mary questioned and asked for an explanation before she made her decision.