Be Your Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper

– Monday 6th Week in Ordinary Time –

‘Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?”’  [Genesis 4:9]

Today we hear about the decline of humanity as the children of Adam and Eve fall even further with the violent death of Abel at the hands of his brother Cain.  When questioned by God on the whereabouts of his brother Cain feebly retorts ‘I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?’

It seems initially a throw away line but it demonstrates how much humans have fallen.  From the innocent nature of Adam and Eve pre-fall, to hiding from God, we observe Cain allowing his pride to get the better of him, not even seeing the good attributes of Abel but becoming a slave to his pride, selfishness and jealousy.  God’s disregard of Cain’s offering is misunderstood as not being loved or accepted by God. He is loved but does not recognise that he must also love his neighbour as he loves himself.  He covets Abel’s blessing and instead of being happy for his brother he murders him. 

We are reminded today that we are not the centre of the world.  God should be first and foremost our complete focus and object of praise.  Secondly, loving those around us instead of being self-centred is God’s desire for every human being.  This second task requires us to keep a lovingly and watchful eye on our neighbour.  We are technically each other’s brother and sister. 

Today let’s focus on loving each other by patting each other’s back when someone does a good deed.  Equally we must encourage and support each other whenever we miss the mark.  Remember to keep each other accountable to God’s teachings and show each other love and mercy.


by Fr Nev Yun

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