This is a beautiful legend by Sjostroem, a Swedish author.
Perhaps you are not aware that among those who went to the cave in Bethlehem to adore the newborn baby Jesus, there were also Adam and Eve. They had been waiting the birth of the Messiah for a long, long time. They were so anxious to meet Him.
Finally the time was ripe. God became man.
And so Adam and Eve slipped silently into the cave and knelt at the back, enjoying and cherishing the sight of this God-man. They were so elated to see the shepherds giving these simple but beautiful gifts to Mary. They, too, wanted to give something to Jesus but they had nothing….
Eve, however, being Eve, pressed Adam to see if he could find anything in his knapsack. And, no, yes…yes… Adam found something. He found a fruit, a beautiful fruit. However, it was not whole and juicy. Someone had taken a bite out of it.
It was the bitten fruit which had brought so much trouble into the world!
Adam and Eve felt embarrassed. They did not know what to do. Finally they plucked up courage and approached Mary and Joseph. Adam did not even dare raise his eyes from the ground. He felt so mortified. And so he muttered quickly, “Eve and I have nothing to offer your son, Jesus, but this bitten fruit, the sign of our sin.”
With his heart pounding, he added, “Do you accept this gift?”
Mary said not a word. Her heart was moved with love and tenderness. She got up on her feet, approached Adam and gave him a hug. A big ,big hug. Then she turned to Eve and embraced her strongly and warmly as well. She took the bitten apple and placed it near the feet of her little newborn son.
Adam and Eve were overwhelmed. Overwhelmed at this amazing compassion.
Later when Mary and Joseph led Adam and Eve out of the cave, something had really happened! Adam’s and Eve’s faces were glowing with joy! Their eyes were filled with tears.
Not tears of sadness but tears of gratitude ….
They had become new people.
The embrace of Mary in our sins heals us.
Her smile, amidst our sins,
offers us the opportunity to start afresh ….
For he who falls into sin is the child of Adam.
He who boasts of sin is a child of the devil.
BUT he who repents from sin is the child of God ….
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.