In today’s first reading there is something I find a bit strange. God not only promises to do something by His words, He also swears to do it by His own person. Clearly God can do whatever He wants, and if He were to change His mind He would be free to do it. But we know that when God says something, He does it. Why would He swear to it? What does God Himself swearing to accomplish something add to the words of His promise? To make things even more complicated, Jesus commands us not to swear: “Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Anything else is from the evil one.” Would God lie? Would the one who has no one to answer to except Himself bother with untruths? The devil is the father of lies because He must answer to God and He refuses to.
Time is something that we can measure, but have you stopped to think about how we measure it? We measure it by how things move: the earth is spinning, it is also moving around the Sun. If you have a mechanical clock you can see the gears moving or hear the ticking sound of the gears as they move. Even digital clocks are based on movement: the cycles of particles moving through a circuit. Time is really just a measure of movement from someone’s point of view: imagine if you were a Martian your day would be different because a full rotation takes slightly longer – 37 minutes longer – than an earth rotation. Instead of asking you how old you are, I could ask you how much you have moved since you were born – apparently we move about 19,200 miles every day. We do that with cars, it’s almost more important how much they have moved than when they were made.
The wages of sin is death. In other words, what Adam earned by sinning was death – the passing away of individual human beings. Adam brought death to the human race because he separated his mind and heart from God. God did not create us for death, He created us for life, but that life comes from Him. The highest and most lifegiving source of human life: communion with God – has been severed through the choices of our first parents. Physical death is just one kind of death, there is a kind of emotional death, a kind of spiritual death. We will experience death in various ways during our time on earth – we will also experience life in various ways. God clearly created us for happiness and life, but we are mysteriously drawn to the darkness of sin – tempted – to flirt with death. Death continues to exert power over us even though we’ve been baptised and even though we practice the faith. We continue to experience sorrow and suffering because of our own sin and because of the sins of others.