Good morning Father Angelo,
I am writing to you because I need a clarification on death, on original sin and its consequences. We know from the scriptures that death is the wages of sin. Starting from this affirmation and being Christ without sin, how is it possible that he was killed? I try to explain myself better. If Adam had not sinned would he never have died or could he still die a violent death, for example by falling off a cliff?
As for Mary Most Holy, Tradition speaks to us of “Dormition”, the reason is because in fact, being devoid of all sin including the original one, she could not die? Because of her spotless state, could Mary Most Holy get old? Or should we somehow think that she has always remained young? I apologize if these questions may seem trivial but I would really like to understand better.
1.Your first question is not trivial. Even St. Thomas has asked it.
If it is posed as an objection in the following terms: “The penalty is a consequence of guilt. But there was no fault in Christ, as the Scripture attests: “He committed no sin” (1 Pt 2:22). Therefore, not even bodily limits should have existed in him, which are penalties “(Somma theologica, III, 14, 1, ob. 3).
And here is his answer:
“It was fitting for the body assumed by the Son of God to submit to human weaknesses and deficiencies, and this mainly for three reasons.
First, because the Son of God, assuming the flesh, came into the world precisely to atone for the sin of mankind. But one atones for another’s sin when one takes the penalty due to the sin of others. Now, bodily defects, such as death, hunger, thirst and other similar things, are pains of the sin that was introduced into the world by Adam, as St. Paul puts it: “By one man sin entered the world, and with sin, death “(Rom 5:12). It was therefore fitting for the purpose of the Incarnation that Christ in our flesh would take such penalties in our stead, according to the words of the prophet: “Truly he has borne our pains” (Is 53,4) “.
2. “Second, to facilitate faith in the incarnation. In fact, since human nature is not known to men except as subject to these bodily defects, if the Son of God had assumed a human nature devoid of them, it would have been doubted that he was real man and had taken real flesh and not fantastic, as the Manichei said. This is why it is written in St. Paul: “He emptied himself by assuming the condition of a servant, becoming like men and appearing in human form” (Phil 2,7). So that Thomas himself was led back to faith by the observation of his wounds, as the Gospel recounts (Jn 20,26ff) ”.
3. “Third, to give us an example of patience, enduring human sufferings and defects. The Apostle wrote about him: “He has endured so much hostility against his own person on the part of sinners, so that you will not tire or lose heart” (Heb 12,3) “(Sum theological, III, 14, 1 ).
4. Adam in the state of innocence – for reasons of preternatural gifts – was preserved from any kind of death.
This does not mean that he would always be here, but in due time he would have been taken to heaven where he would have enjoyed the beatific vision.
5. Our Lady too was subjected to our penalties for the same reasons that Our Lord subjected himself to them.
I wish you well, I remind you to the Lord and I bless you.