O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam, which gained for us so great a redeemer!
We proclaim these word tonight in the Exultet, that great Easter hymn of praise.
Many Christians believe that God had created a perfect creation in Eden that Adam and Eve then ruined in their sin of disobedience. If only they had not taken the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil!
Not so. The proclamation of salvation history at tonight's Mass tells us the truth. God, in His infinite wisdom, actually created the world this way. He knew that the Fall would occur, and yet He went forward with this plan.
It was done out of Love.
We were created finite beings with finite minds. The Lord revealed Himself to us little by little, in ways that we could grasp. Then in the fullness of time, He plunged into history as Jesus Christ to show us Himself in His entirety--the Trinity of Love. He created things this way in order to give us the freedom to accept His unfathomable Love, so that we might come to know Him in the most intimate way possible.
After the Fall, God placed an angel with a flaming sword to guard the Tree of Life in order to prevent Adam and Eve from eating of its fruit, which would have condemned them to a sinful immortality. The Church Fathers saw the Cross as the Tree of Life, and the crucified Jesus its fruit. Now that His Death and Resurrection has opened again the way to the Tree, we may now eat of its fruit, the Eucharist, and have eternal life.
This is the night when death's power was destroyed. This is the night when Satan was crushed. This is the night when Love rose triumphant, glorious, eternal.
This is the night the Lord began the work of the New Creation.