9 February OS 2018: Thursday of the First Week of Lent; Holy Martyr Nikiphoros
The first reading at Vespers today is Genesis 2:4-19.
God made the animals to be a companion for man “…and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them, and whatsoever Adam called any living creature, that was the name thereof.” Adam’s mind was a pure and unbroken mirror, perfectly reflecting all around him. His speech, the speech of Paradise, was perfect expression, and each name he gave perfectly expressed the essence of each thing he named. Between the mind, the word coming forth from the mind, and the thing named by the word, there was no conflict, no gap, no misunderstanding. Adam was at one with God, with himself, and with creation, in understanding, in activity, and in love.
Sin broke man’s mind into countless pieces, and each piece reflects only a tiny and disconnected fragment of what is real. Sin broke man’s activity, and his efforts always end in defeat. Sin broke man’s love, and he devotes his heart to that which is unworthy, and the object of his love devours him.
Grace heals man’s mind, his activity, and his love. Grace unites the fragmented thoughts, gives power to man’s activity, and directs his love to that which is truly lovable. Grace restores man to Paradise.
Christ, the New Adam, came to give us this grace. Let us worship Him.