Monday, February 18, 2019
Today, in Mercy, Genesis tells the story of the first murder. Driven by jealousy and resentment, Cain takes the life of his own brother, Abel. Cain then denies any responsibility for the crime with the now oft-repeated line:
Am I my brother’s keeper?
God’s outrage is the answer to Cain’s question. God bans Cain from the soil which had been his livelihood, because that same soil now cries out with Abel’s blood.
The account is appalling and traumatic. We have gotten so used to hearing it that we may be immune to the abomination. Brother turned against brother. God’s gift of life and hope taken irrevocably in a moment of selfish anger. All of First Creation must have fallen on its knees in sadness and shock at this primal crime.
Friends, as you pray today, pick up the newspaper. See Cain’s crime repeated over and over again as humanity becomes more and more desensitized to its horror. We have even devolved to the point that some murders are “legal” under the pseudonyms of war, abortion, genocide, and capital punishment. Our culture is rife with the abuse of life in so many forms that we have become hardened to its reality just to protect our souls.
When Jesus meets such hardness of heart in our Gospel, he refuses to give them a sign of his power. He just walks away.
Let us pray that God will not walk away from our desensitized generation – that he will give us a sign of grace to open our eyes.
Music: Kyrie Eleison Lord, have mercy) ~ Michael Hoppè
(Visuals appear to be filmed at Normandy, soil filled with the blood of those who died on D-Day)
P.S. I am sending a second reflection later today that has been heavily on my mind. I hope some of you find a spiritual benefit in it.