Mastering the Demon Lurking at the Door, Sixth Monday (I), February 16, 2015

Fr. Roger J. Landry
Santa Maria degli Angeli, Pietrelcina
Monday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time, Year I
February 16, 2015
Gen 4:1-15.25, Ps 50, Mk 8:11-13

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To listen to an audio recording of today’s homily, please click below:

 

The following points were attempted in the homily:

[brief outline to be elaborated later]

  • Jesus opposed in the Gospel. This goes back. Hebrews. St. John.
    • Christ’s blood speaks more eloquently that that of Abel (Heb 12:24).
    • His sacrifice still speaks, God bearing witness to his gifts, already a foretelling of the Resurrection.
  • Much we can learn from the scene about Jesus, about St. Pio, and about us.
    • Offer to God best we can. First fruits of Abel. Cain offered something. God favored Abel’s sacrifice. God deserves our best. Padre Pio from an early age wanted to give his life to God’s service. Jesus offered his whole life.
    • Overcoming temptation to sin. “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.” God wants to help us master sin. Jesus did in the desert, garden and through life, being tempted every way we were without sin. Padre Pio did in his childhood here and throughout life. So can we with God’s help.
    • Loving our brother as our brother’s keeper. Cain resisted God’s advice and fraternal love. He took his brother into the field and killed him out of envy. Cain belonged to the evil one and killed his brother (1 John 3:12). It’s the opposite of loving each other. Murderous deeds come from murderous hearts, from murderous tongues. We can master sin but must fight. Cain didn’t. Pope Francis in Lampedusa. Pope Francis with Gossip. Jesus suffered from this. Padre Pio suffered from this. But they didn’t respond in kind. They responded by making themselves their brothers’ keeper.
  • Sign
    • Sign is the sign of Jonah. Struck but risen.
    • Abel’s sacrifice still speaks. So does Jesus. So does Pio. It’s the sign of the love that gives the best. The love that fights against infidelity. The love expressed for others. Let’s get strengthend for that.

The readings for today’s Mass were:

Reading 1 Gn 4:1-15, 25

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.”
Next she bore his brother Abel.
Abel became a keeper of flocks, and Cain a tiller of the soil.
In the course of time Cain brought an offering to the LORD
from the fruit of the soil,
while Abel, for his part,
brought one of the best firstlings of his flock.
The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering,
but on Cain and his offering he did not.
Cain greatly resented this and was crestfallen.
So the LORD said to Cain:
“Why are you so resentful and crestfallen.
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.”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?”
The LORD then said: “What have you done!
Listen: your brother’s blood cries out to me from the soil!
Therefore you shall be banned from the soil
that opened its mouth to receive
your brother’s blood from your hand.
If you till the soil, it shall no longer give you its produce.
You shall become a restless wanderer on the earth.”
Cain said to the LORD: “My punishment is too great to bear.
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.”
“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.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 Ps 50:1 and 8, 16bc-17, 20-21

R. (14a) Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.
God the LORD has spoken and summoned the earth,
from the rising of the sun to its setting.
“Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you,
for your burnt offerings are before me always.”
R. Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.
“Why do you recite my statutes,
and profess my covenant with your mouth
Though you hate discipline
and cast my words behind you?”
R. Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.
“You sit speaking against your brother;
against your mother’s son you spread rumors.
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. Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.

Alleluia Jn 14:6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord;
no one comes to the Father except through me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 8:11-13

The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus,
seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.
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.”
Then he left them, got into the boat again,
and went off to the other shore.