6th Week, Monday, Feb 15
Genesis 4:1-15, 25 / Mark 8:11-13
God banishes Cain; God put a mark on Cain.
The mark served as a kind of protection. Anyone who harmed them would have to answer to their tribe. So, by portraying God as marking Cain, the Genesis writer portrays God as according Cain a kind of merciful protection.
Is our attitude toward repented criminals different from what God shows here? "Let no one make troubles for me; for I bear the marks of Jesus on my body." Galatians 6:17
Sin, even murder, shows its ugly head right after the loss of paradise. Or does the story express the conflict between two cultures, the sedentary life based on the land (Cain) and the nomadic life of the shepherd Abel? Yet for his punishment Cain becomes himself a fugitive nomad.
In the 1st reading, Cain failed to see it although God had warned him that his jealousy was like a crouching beast hungering to devour him.
In the gospel, the Pharisees also failed to see their jealousy of Jesus. Their demand for signs was in itself a sign of their jealousy. So it is necessary to check our thoughts, our words and our actions.They are signs to us of what is happening in us.
We need to heed these signs, reflect upon them in our prayer, and with God's grace, we will master the devouring beast and the green-eyed monster of jealousy within us.