We often speak glibly of “Original Sin;” and of the “Redeemer” - but what do these terms mean? To understand Original Sin, we must know "Original Justice." Adam & Eve created sinless; were well endowed with God’s generous blessings. They enjoyed Natural gifts, like strength, health, beauty, intellect, strong will, and so forth. They enjoyed Preternatural Gifts, such as freedom from sickness, death, and toil; as well as the ability to converse directly with God. And, finally they possessed Supernatural Gifts: Sanctifying grace and Actual graces. In short, man lived in paradise, and was able to merit even greater graces by his good works. Man was just a little lower than the angels
The Fall from grace:
But, like the angels, Adam thought too much of himself-just like Lucifer-Adam thought that he should be on par with God; a "god" himself. Adam and Eve succumbed to the sin of Pride. This notion that they could be “like gods” was placed in their minds by the devil because of envy-the Devil envied Adam and Eve, for they had not as yet thrown away their salvation as he had. But at the Devil’s prompting, Adam and Eve disobeyed God's command; they contradicted His will. Their punishment was to loose most of God's gifts: All of the supernatural; All of the preternatural; and many of the natural gifts. Original sin, then-in the descendents of Adam-is not so much a personal guilt, as it is simply the loss of the gifts given to our first parents. If we must guess, God probably took these away from all mankind, not so much as punishment but as prevention-they excited man's pride too much. At the very least, they were like family treasures-Adam was no longer able to pass on the inheritance of sanctifying grace, for he had squandered it himself. It was just like a rich man who lost the family fortune gambling-and could no longer pass it on to his heirs.
The Promise and the Promised One
God took away His gifts, but promised to restore them. We speak of the third chapter of Genesis as the “Proto-Gospel,” for it spoke of the good news of Redemption even in that early day. God told the devil that he would put enmity between the children of the woman, and the children of the devil. “She shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.” Later, He renewed his pledge, making a covenant with Abraham and the Patriarchs. Throughout the New Testament, we see references to the Old Testament, showing how these covenants and prophecies have been fulfilled.
For thousands of years, the Jews awaited the Messiah. Only the Son of God could make amends for a crime against the dignity of God himself. And only a man could offer this amendment on behalf of men. Eventually, “in the fullness of time, God sent His only begotten Son ...” the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, God Himself from all ages, took His human existence from the Immaculate Virgin Mary. In these weeks of Advent, we learn of the preparations made for His birth and entrance into the world. We learn of Saint John the Baptist, sent “to make straight the way of the Lord.” We will hear of the Angel Gabriel, informing Mary, "thou shalt call His name Jesus," a name, which in the Hebrew language means “Savior” or “Deliverer.” He is referred to also as “the Christ,” the “anointed one.” This refers to his three fold office as Teacher, King, and Priest: “There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise up to rule the Gentiles, in him the Gentiles shall hope.”
Although we did not commit the original sin, we have no reason to complain of unjust treatment; we have all sinned ourselves. We all do have reason to rejoice, however, for God has promised a Redeemer. A Redeemer for His chosen people, and for all the peoples of the world. And it is for the birth of that Redeemer that we prepare during these few short weeks of Advent. Let us be sure that when He comes, we have no false pride as did Adam and Eve; that we are ready to welcome Him into a sinless heart... Into a soul made spotless by the power of His sanctifying grace.