Monday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Book of Genesis 4:1-15, 25, Psalm 50:1, 8, 16-17, 20-21 & Mark 8:11-13
Both of today's readings from Sacred Scripture have to do with signs. In the Book of Genesis, we hear how Cain murdered his brother Abel and was condemned by God to become a restless wanderer on the earth. Cain's life is a powerful image of helplessness— no home, no family, no friends, and no one to turn to for protection. Cain's punishment fills him with fear of falling prey to robbers, murderers, or family members seeking vengeance.
"Not so! The Lords said to him. If anyone kills Cain, Cain shall be avenged sevenfold. So the Lord put a mark on Cain." The mark is a sign of God's faithfulness to Cain despite his crime. Cain needs God's protection, and God remains protectively faithful.
In the Gospel narrative of Saint Mark, the Pharisees are arguing 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."
Like Cain and the Pharisees, we, too, want a sign. When we are lonely, sad, frustrated, restless, tired, angry, cold, depressed, or joyful, happy, and at peace, we want a sign that God is with us. We want to know He is there in good times and bad. We want to thank Him for our blessings, and we want to understand why our life is a mess.
Friends, the sacraments are constant signs that God is with us. Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony are signs of God's abiding love and faithfulness. These sacramental signs allow us to become conduits of God's presence in the world to our families, friends, and all who we meet. Sacraments help bring joy, protection, peace, and love to those in need.
Question of the Day: How will you become a sign of God's peace and love to the world?
Prayer: "Be my protector, O God, a mighty stronghold to save me. For you are my rock, my stronghold! Lead me, guide me, for the sake of your name. (Psalm 30:3-4)