Today’s First Reading reminds us how horrible it is to lose a home, and how much more horrible it is when it is our fault. The Lord sets an angel to guard against Adam and Eve eating of the tree of life after they’re expelled from Eden due to their sins. Their life has taken a turn for the worse, and there’s no going back without help. They’re cast out, but the Lord doesn’t cease to care for them completely; he makes real clothes for them, and the earth still provides for their needs. It’s just going to be much harder than before, much like the hardship of a family that takes an economic fall and can no longer enjoy the lifestyle it had.
If Adam and Eve ate of the other tree in that moment they would have lived forever, but in misery. They would remain estranged from the Lord and never be able to turn back, much like a person who dies in mortal sin, separated from God forever. This passage of Genesis is also called the “proto-Gospel” because even as the Lord is condemning the serpent for what he’d done, he also foretells that the offspring of the woman would crush him. That offspring would be Our Lord, who would make the life of mankind worth living again.
We live in a post-Fall world, but Our Lord has already come to make it something better. Let’s ask him to help us see how we can make it a preparation for our future Eden: Heaven.