MONDAY, SIXTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Gen 4: 1-15,25;
Ps 50: 1,8,16-17,20-21;
Mk 8: 11-13
READING THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES
God’s very nature is love and he created us to share in his love. But man disobeyed God, and sin entered the world. Cain and Abel were born to our first parents. Abel was a keeper of sheep and Cain a tiller of the ground. They both offered to God the fruits of their labour. God accepted Abel’s offering, but not that of Cain, because of its unworthiness. This made Cain jealous and angry.
St John of the Cross tells us that our passions weary, torment, darkness, defile and weaken us; and when we yield to our passions, we commit sin. God warned Cain to master his passions, but he refused to listen and had to bear the consequences of the terrible act of murdering his brother. Yet, God, in his compassion and mercy, promised him his protection. However sinful we may be, God protects us as a father protects his children, and when we turn to him, we can always be assured of his forgiveness.
The world is full of signs. God speaks to us through them. Just as he warned Cain of the evil passions brewing in his heart, so does he exhort us to change our lives. In fact, in a certain way, the present pandemic itself can be seen as a warning sign from God, urging us to take time to build up our relationship with him that has been buried under the distractions and demands of daily life.
Yet, it can so happen that we remain blind God’s signs and exhortations, like Cain. Jesus worked so many signs and wonders, yet the Pharisees kept demanding “of him a sign from heaven.” Jesus was so grieved to see their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to accept him, that he left that place and “went away to the opposite shore.” May we not grieve the Lord by our willful blindness to the signs of his love and push him away by our stubborn refusal to fight against the selfish passions brewing within.
Responsorial Psalm: Give your praise as a sacrifice to God.
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