1. März 2020 - KHG, St. Remigius Bonn
1. Very close
Should lovers know everything about each other? Less commonly asked: Do you need to know - or be able to know - everything about the person you love, and conversely, is it important to you that the person who loves you knows everything about you? Whatever the answer, keep it to yourself for God's sake. Because the answer "No, she (or he) should not know everything" would inevitably trigger the question: And what are you hiding from me?
Looking at the reason does not lead to prehistoric times. The fall that Adam and Eve commit together is not a look into history, but at the bottom of the human heart. It is our history that the Book of Genesis tells. Our own history, people that we are.
The Fall means: Wanting to be like God. Mankind has everything in the Garden of Eden, fruits in abundance. But it is tempting to eat from the one tree, the tree of knowledge of good and evil. For only, the serpent whispers, when you have tasted everything, can you determine for yourself what is good and what is evil.
Once the question is asked, the pull seems unstoppable: Why shouldn't I know everything? Why should I not determine what is good and what is evil? Why shouldn't I eat from the one tree and be content with all the other trees? Who should forbid me to do this - except a God who would be afraid that I would take his place?
But God has not forbidden. If we imagine God as a lawmaker with the arbitrariness of a federal minister of finance, we will not understand the Bible, nor ourselves. God has not forbidden. He just told man in plain words: if you eat from this tree, you will die. To eat from this tree is as deadly to life as this question is to love: Should we know everything about each other.
In the Garden of Eden, human beings lived in intimate proximity to God. This is vividly described when God walks around the time of the chilly midday wind. The closeness to God could be so natural. But Adam, the human being, begins to hide from God.
3. The view
Mistrust has taken the place of familiar closeness. Humans have discovered that they are naked - and they are ashamed of each other. The individual has discovered that he or she is guilty - and they blame each other. Out of a huge ego, which trusts nothing, which must have tried everything itself and must know everything itself, out of this presumptuous self-importance, the original sin is knitted.
The passage from the Book of Genesis, which was read today, has no "punch line" and offers no resolution. It is a passage from the perspective that the first chapters of the Bible throw at the bottom of this world. As is so often the case, the Bible is as precise as it is sober in this view: That's how it is!
Therefore we too should leave this passage in its short selection at the beginning of Lent. It is the first exercise of the preparation for Easter to see soberly how precisely this passage of Scripture describes what I too stumble upon time and again. What about my original trust in God? The path to the original naivety of the Garden of Eden is blocked once and for all. Should lovers know everything about each other? The question, once asked, cannot be resolved. Man has failed with his answer. Another one only, could be our answer. Amen.