First Reading | Genesis 4:1-15, 25
Fratricide is an ugly reality. The author of Genesis tells us in today’s reading how far sin will distort the goodness of humanity. Perhaps the author lived at a time when the horrific nature of sin was obvious in the society where he lived. Let us pray for God’s grace to help us witness to His power and overcome the terrible examples of sin in today’s world.
1 The man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have produced a man with the help of the Lord.” 2 Next she bore his brother Abel. Abel became a keeper of flocks, and Cain a tiller of the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought an offering to the Lord from the fruit of the soil, 4 while Abel, for his part, brought one of the best firstlings of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not. Cain greatly resented this and was crestfallen. 6 So the Lord said to Cain: “Why are you so resentful and crestfallen? 7 If you do well, you can hold up your head; but if not, sin is a demon lurking at the door: his urge is toward you, yet you can be his master.” 8 Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let us go out in the field.” When they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord asked Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” He answered, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 The Lord then said: “What have you done! Listen: your brother’s blood cries out to me from the soil! 11 Therefore you shall be banned from the soil that opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 If you till the soil, it shall no longer give you its produce. You shall become a restless wanderer on the earth.” 13 Cain said to the Lord: “My punishment is too great to bear. 14 Since you have now banished me from the soil, and I must avoid your presence and become a restless wanderer on the earth, anyone may kill me at sight.” 15 “Not so!” the Lord said to him. “If anyone kills Cain, Cain shall be avenged sevenfold.” So the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest anyone should kill him at sight. 25 Adam again had relations with his wife, and she gave birth to a son whom she called Seth. “God has granted me more offspring in place of Abel,” she said, “because Cain slew him.”
Responsorial Psalm | Psalm 50:1, 8, 16-17, 20-21
R: Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.
1 God the Lord has spoken and summoned the earth, from the rising of the sun to its setting. 8 “Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you, for your burnt offerings are before me always.” (R) 16 “Why do you recite my statutes, and profess my covenant with your mouth, 17 though you hate discipline and cast my words behind you?” (R) 20 “You sit speaking against your brother; against your mother’s son you spread rumors. 21 When you do these things, shall I be deaf to it? Or do you think that I am like yourself? I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes.” (R)
Gospel | Mark 8:11-13
Holiness and becoming Jesus’ disciple depend on our commitment to do little and big things. It is good to be involved in great ministries and events that evangelize thousands. However, these begin in doing the simple and little things faithfully. I once spoke to a nun who had a huge healing ministry and she told me that she never goes t a place unless they set aside three hours every day for her personal prayer. She certainly knew what the most important aspect of her ministry was, which is personal prayer. May we be like her.
I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord; no one comes to the Father except through me.
11 The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him. 12 He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” 13 Then he left them, got into the boat again, and went off to the other shore.