Our faculty of obedience is broken. The debacle of Adam and Eve showed us this. The command - obedience paradigm failed catastrophically at Eden. Adam and Eve were given the word of God but they did not listen to it.
The question is, 'does our faculty of obedience need to be fixed in order for God to rescue us from our exile in godlessness and return us to our home in paradise?'.
The debacle of Adam and Eve demonstrated the unreliability of the command - obedience paradigm. It is not trustworthy. It tends not to work. It is prone to failure. Therefore, to rescue us from our exile in godlessness and return us to our home in paradise, God bypassed it. God tried a different approach. God used a backup syztem. Instead of approaching the problem through our faculty of obedience, God approached the problem through our faculty of rationality. Our faculty of rationality is the backup system that God created in case our faculty of obedience gets broken.
As surely as the debacle of Adam and Eve demonstrated that our faculty of obedience did not work, it demonstrated that are faculty of rationality worked. Adam and Eve jumped on the seemingly better offer of the serpent. The serpent conjured up the illusion that a life lived as gods in godlessness is superior to a life lived with God in paradise. The serpent offered Adam and Eve what seemed like a better deal. As God designed it to work, their faculty of rationality did. Adam and Eve took the serpent's deal.
The serpent, however, was a liar and the offer was bogus. The serpent fed Adam and Eve faulty data. Their reliance on faulty data led them astray. Godlessness is not superior to paradise. In fact, it is vastly inferior. Adam and Eve's inability to properly evaluate the reliability of the data that the serpent fed to them and compare it to data from other sources, that is, from God, brought about their debacle when their faculty of obedience catastrophically failef.
As illusion makes us slaves, the truth sets us free.
God, therefore, set out to feed our rationality with the truth. Reality shatters illusion. Our faculty of rationality, when fed the truth, moves us in the right direction.
God lets us stew in godlessness for a lifetime so we come to know for ourselves its sourness. Godlessness sucks. Our personal experience with the sourness of godlessness drives us to its exits. Because a lifetime no matter how long is an infinitesimally thin slice of time compared to the thickness of eternity, this harsh but effective medicine is not cruel and unusual punishment. God accepts the harshness because of its effectiveness. The prodigal son is not going back to the pigsty and neither are the children of Adam and Eve. When the gift of paradise is delivered to us, we will not abdicate it as our parents, Adam and Eve, did. We will keep it.
God reveals to us the sweetness of paradise. It is the honey that pulls the bees back to the hive. At Bethlehem, God delivered to us a love note. It was no ordinary love note. It was alive. It lived and breathed. At Calvary, God delivered to us a guarantee that the love note was genuine. If the love note were counterfeit, God's love for us would have faded as we tortured him and died when we killed him. However, it did not. It survived. The survival of God's love for us despite the evil baptism into which we immersed him is the guarantee of the indestructibility of God's love for us. God surrendered his body to us. God surrendered his blood to us. God surrendered his very life itself to us. God, however, refused to surrender His love for us to us. For reasons known only to God, it was precious to Him. It defines Him. It is who he is. His most sacred heart stayed filled to the brim with love for us throughout his ordeal. Calvary is the guarantee that the dial that controls God's love for us is in God's hands not ours. Furthermore, it is set to the highest degree and is locked in place. That God was willing to do Calvary for us leads us to the conclusion that there is nothing that God wouldn't do for us. Wow! Where do we sign up? How do we enlist? How do we join the kingdom of this omnipotent God who loves us so much?
Two "documents" not one were given to us during the thirty-three visit that the Son of God paid us at and about the city of Jerusalem in a region of the earth called the Middle East more than two thousand years ago. The first "document" was the love note that God delivered to us at Bethlehem. The second "document" was the guarantee of the love note that God delivered to us at Calvary. [P.S.: The Mass is the rainbow of the new covenant that reminds God and reminds us of Calvary - of love not destruction]
If the guarantee of Calvary does not persuade us of the indestructibility of God's love for us, nothing can or will.
On the canvas of Calvary, the brush of truth painted for us in the pigments of pain and suffering the perfect representation of the nature of God. It was a self-portrait. As a self portrait, all other representations of the nature of God must yield to it. The reason that God told us in the Ten Commandments not to make representations of God was because God knew that the fidelity of any representation of God made by human hands would fall far short of the mark and that the definitive representation of the nature of God would be given to us at Calvary.
Our self-interest, guided by our rationality, informed by the truth, instructs us to flee the sourness of godlessness and seek the sweetness of paradise. Obedience is easier. But Rationality works regardless of whether we obey or do not obey.
The sourness of godlessness and the sweetness of paradise create a potential difference between the two worlds. All that was needed to induce the current of salvation to flow was a conductor between them. God provided the conductor. The Son of God became the bridge. He is the way, etc. Through the bloody wounds we opened in his body while He was human, alive, tender and vulnerable, the new exodus led by the new Moses, the Church, is making its escape through the hostile desert of godlessness from slavery under the yoke of Pharaoh to freedom with God and their holy family in the promised land.
Come, join the new exodus. Pick up your roots and make your escape. Seek God and flee from godlessness.
Preach the sourness of godlessness. Preach the sweetness of paradise. Then let the self-interest and rationality of the children of Adam and Eve do the rest.