Christ Or Foe? — Monday, 6th Week in Ordinary Time—Year I

Today we recall two brothers who were icons of Christ. I speak of Cain and Abel. (At least, they both started off as images of Christ.)

When Eve conceived and bore Cain, she said, “I have produced a man with the help of the Lord.” We can imagine the New Eve, Mary, saying the same thing. Abel was a keeper of flocks, like Jesus the Good Shepherd. Cain was a tiller of the soil, like Jesus the Sower of the Seed and Reaper of the Harvest. Both Cain and Abel had priestly characters because both offered sacrifices to God.

Imagine how much better the world would have been if these two brothers had lived and worked together in harmony. They would have transformed the whole world, like the holy brothers Cyril and Methodius, the patron saints of Europe.  Instead, tragically, jealousy, resentment, temptation, and sin led Cain to murder his brother. By this spilling of innocent blood, Abel came to image the future Christ still further, while Cain became a likeness of the Christ’s future enemies; the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees.

For you and I, in the end, it may all come down to this: are we Christ, or are we those who would destroy Him?

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