Reflections on the readings for Dec 8
Some stray thoughts from today's Mass readings on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception:
Does a perfect God care if we are justified (and would such a God be perfect) or is the moral of the Jesus story that God reaches out to us because we cannot reach out to him. One can look again at the Fall story and see it not as a decision point but as a test with a foregone conclusion that illustrates rather than expirments. It says something about the nature of man, not the description of a mythical event.
I could easily see this story as part of a larger narrative of an argument of God with Satan, but Satan in the role of tester, not the modern day Zorastrian demon - in an argument over whether any man is worthy of being the instrument of salvation. It would be an interesting play, starting with the casting out of Lucifer from Heaven, going to the garden of Eden, stopping at Job and then ending up with Jesus in the Desert, after Peter urges him to not go to Jerusalem, the crucifixion and the resurrection. The apocolyptically minded may add some later incidents from Revelation, but one wonders how it would end.
Prevenient grace is only necessary if you believe God has feet of clay. One single tinge of grace does not a Holy life make. The Gospel is very clear that the gift to Mary was a lifetime outpouring and relationship between her soul and the Spirit. The Torah reading shows that the original sin was not disobedience, but blame, which the allegory shows well. Grace can't force you to forgive, even previent grace. That is a free choice. The choice becomes whether to accept the forgiveness of the Cross at the cost of granting it ourselves.