Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
From the man of flesh to the spiritual one
So, too, it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living being,” the last Adam a life-giving spirit. But the spiritual was not first; rather the natural and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, earthly; the second man, from heaven. As was the earthly one, so also are the earthly, and as is the heavenly one, so also are the heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthly one, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one. 1Cor 15,45-49
Since being a boy I was always fascinated by the book of Pinocchio, the most beautiful tale which the man has ever written; however, I understood the reason of its fascination being an adult, a day when I went close to this passage of the First letter of Paul to the Corinthians. The story of Pinocchio – borne as a puppet, subsequently grown up in a little rascal and eventually in a good boy – symbolizes the story of the man and of his salvation. It is the same story which is today repeated in this letter of Paul. By the beginning of the times – the book of the Genesis narrates – “the Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being”. (Gen 2,7) The first Adam, however, being escaped from God because of the sin, was the founder of the family composed by an humanity of limited capabilities, faulty, inadequate to maintain and to communicate the life to the others. Jesus Christ – the second Adam – is, on the contrary, the founder of the family of the new man, because the strength of the Spirit elevates him as to be the son of God, giving to him an endless life. The first Adam – Paul says today – symbolizes the start of the physical life, Jesus Christ is the start of the spiritual one, in every moment enlivening and vivifying, especially after the resurrection. If we have a physical body, we have also the spiritual one: it is in fact written that “the first man, Adam, became a living being, but the last Adam a life-giving spirit”. The spiritual man, even if borne later, is superior to the first one , because “the first man was from the earth and he is earthly; the second man comes from the heaven”. At this point it is not possible not to think to the wonderful task of the parents, who are called to cooperate to the creation not only of a physical man but, via the baptism and the Christian education, they have received from Christ the mandate to generate also the spiritual man. To implement such task, however, the parents have to be themselves spiritual persons: “As was the earthly one, so also are the earthly ones; and as is the heavenly one, so also are the heavenly ones”. Going back to the book of Pinocchio from which we started, the transformation of the little rascal boy in the good boy was possible because the father Geppetto, also when being far away, never abandoned him to his destiny, but entrusted him to the spiritual education of the fairy. This is the wonderful task of the parents: also when the sons go out of the family and go on their route, the parents can continue to pray for them to the purpose of having the Spirit accompanying them every day.