Monday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

Cain always had a chance. When Cain and Abel were born, there was nothing about Abel that marked him as holier than Cain. Even after Cain’s initial offering was rejected by God, God offers a word of encouragement to Cain. There was a moment of hope and redemption offered to Cain by God, a moment when God assured Cain that he “could be [sin’s] master.” If Cain had accepted God’s offer, listened to God, and made a worthy sacrifice to God, he might have been counted alongside righteous figures such as Noah. Instead, his name will always be associated with the invention of murder.

The Christian life is rarely a matter of converting and then moving from one level of sanctity to another, all in perfect linear fashion. It is conversion, fall, reversion, falling again, asking forgiveness again, on and on. There is no definitive moment in this life when we have chosen God and will be saved by Him, but there is also no definitive moment in this life when we reject God so powerfully that we are doomed to condemnation. In moments when we fall into sin, or when we hold back our offerings to God, God will be there for us as He was with Cain, to warn us that worse sin is lurking, but we still have hope to master it.

February 13th, 2017