Good Friday of the Lord's Passion
The Cross, the Tree of life
In the centre of Paradise there was a tree. It was used by the serpent to deceive our first parents. Take note of this surprising fact: that to deceive man the serpent resorted to a feeling inherent in his nature. When he formed man, besides a general understanding of the world, the Lord had actually placed within him a desire for God. No sooner had the devil discovered this yearning than he said to man: “You will become like gods (Gn 3,5). For the present you are only human and cannot always be with God; but if you become like gods then you will always be with him”... In this way, it was her desire to be God's equal that seduced the woman..., she both ate and urged the man to do the same... Now, after this offence, “Adam heard the sound of the Lord God moving about in the garden towards evening” (Gn 3,8)... Blessed be the Lord of hosts for having visited Adam at evening time! And for still visiting him now towards evening, on the Cross.
For it was at the very time that Adam had just eaten, those hours marked by his sin and condemnation, that the Lord underwent his passion, namely, between the sixth and the ninth hours. Adam ate at the sixth hour, according to nature's law; then he hid. And towards evening, God came to him.
Adam had wanted to become God; what he wanted was impossible. Christ fulfilled this desire. “You wanted to become what you could not,” he said, “but I desire to become man, and I can do it. God does the complete opposite to what you did when you allowed yourself to be led astray. You longed for something beyond you but I am taking what is beneath me. You longed to be God's equal but I desire to become man's equal... You desired to become God and were unable. But I became man to make the impossible, possible.” Yes, this is indeed why God has come. He reveals it to his apostles: “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you” (Lk 22,15)... He came down at evening and said: “Adam, where are you?” (Gn 3,9)... He who came to suffer is the same as he who came down into Paradise.