Fr. Rusty's Corner

Turn Four: Thoughts from Your Parish Priest

And Blessed is hte Fruit of Thy Womb

In Genesis, the serpent persuaded Eve to view the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil as the fulfillment of all of her desires.  When she saw the fruit she “saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom” (Genesis 3:6).  The folly of Eve’s desire was she already had those things with God.  God is the fulfillment of all of our desires.  The problem results from us often not viewing God in this light.  Mary’s fruit comes to restore what was lost and fulfill the deepest desires of our heart.

First, Eve saw the fruit of the tree and thought it was good for food.  It was the source of physical pleasure.  She wanted the sweetness of the fruit and enjoyment of the taste in her mouth.  We fall into this trap with any physical pleasure.  In the moment of enjoyment we believe we have found happiness, but the moment is fleeting.  The happiness is only temporary, leading us to seek another moment of enjoyment in another pleasure.  God does not want us to be in a constant state of seeking happiness in one passing thing after another.  True happiness can only be found in Him.  A happiness and joy that fulfills.  A happiness and joy that ends our search for nothing is greater than God.  The fruit that Mary brings into the world is our Lord.  He is the one that is the sweetest thing to taste particularly in the Eucharist.  He is the source of salvation.  We need no other fruit but Him.

Second, Eve sought beauty.  The tree offered fruit that was pleasing to the eyes.  We seek things in our lives because we believe they are beautiful.  We want our homes to look beautiful inside and out.  We want stylish cars and clothes to show off beauty.  We even desire beautiful people to be our spouses, but we know that from that search that beauty is not just skin-deep.  Beauty is the wholeness of the person, and true beauty ends up being how much we reflect the beauty of God in our lives.  It is the fruit of the Virgin’s womb that the angels long to gaze.  As it is written in the Psalms, “thou art fairer than the sons of men” (Psalm 44:3).  Our Lord is the measure of all beauty.  As much as one reflects Christ reveals the beauty one is.  Ultimate beauty is not found in the world.  It is found in the womb of Mary. 

Third, Eve saw the fruit as desirable for wisdom.  As the serpent states “the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods” (Genesis 3:5).  Eve desired to be on equal footing with God.  To have the power that God possesses.  We do this as well in our lives especially when we sin.  We seek control in our lives as well as power.  We want certainty in our future that brings comfort and stability.  And we will do anything to obtain these things.  We are still seeking the fruit of the tree of knowledge.  The sad thing is, Eve was already like God.  God created humanity “in His image, in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).  She had it and lost it, for sin tarnishes the divine image in us.  Mary found the likeness of God in the fruit of her womb.  Anyone who follows Christ and His Sacraments finds the graces of salvation that can restore what was lost by original sin.  At Baptism, a person is made new in the image of Christ.  It is why one wears a white garment - to show the newness of one’s life in Christ.  As St. Athanasius states, “He became man so that we might become God.”

The fruit of Mary’s womb restores what was lost in the garden.  Christ offers us the sweetness of salvation, offers us true beauty, and offers us to again reflect the image and likeness of God we were created.  Let us look to the fruit of Mary and not the fruit of the tree of knowledge so that we may find salvation with her son. 

- Fr. Rusty Vincent

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