February 15.  Cain and Abel. Charlie presented a story of God’s justice.“How good are we at gift-giving? Do I give the best that I can afford or does it depend on who the gift is for? Am I willing to give away my best portion rather than the second-best?  Do I resent having to give a gift? The story of the very first children, the two sons of Adam and Eve is one of sibling rivalry and possibly of a difference in disposition.  Abel was open to God and wanted to give God of his best.  Cain gave an offering but his attitude was not of giving most generously, of the very best he had to offer. God accepts them differently. Then follows the all-important question God asks of Cain,

“What have you done? Where is your brother?”   And Cain answers “Am I my brother’s keeper?”  God punishes him, exiles him and puts a mark on him, but does not put him to death,    Maybe the whole story is about the question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” 

Pope Francis: Disregard for the duty to cultivate and maintain a proper relationship with my neighbour, for whose care and custody I am responsible, ruins my relationship with my own self, with others, with God and with the earth.  When these relationships are neglected, when justice no longer dwells in the land, the Bible tells that life itself is endangered.  LS 70