If we lived in a world in which no one had ever killed another man or woman, we would never fear encountering someone new.
If we lived in a world in which no one had ever stolen from another man or woman, we would never lock up our homes and we would never lose our car keys because they would be in the car’s ignition.
If we lived in a world in which no one had ever told a lie, we would never doubt any person’s word.
If we lived in a world in which no one had ever spoken unkindly of another, we would never slur another’s good name.
If we lived in a world in which no one had ever been ungrateful, we would never refuse to share what we have with someone else.
If we lived in a world in which no one had ever been unfaithful to a spouse or loved one, we would not even know what the word jealousy means.
The list could go on and on. As we listen to the story of Cain and Abel in today’s first reading, we recognize the power of sin in our world. It has forced us to build walls to keep us safe and to safeguard our possessions. Sin has stolen our innocence. We are suspicious of others, mistrusting their intentions until we have proof that they mean us no harm. We build arsenals of weaponry to protect ourselves and our possessions. We keep our eyes watchful when we are in unknown territory or company for fear we will be victims.
Cain murdered Abel. Adam’s disobedience gave us the knowledge of good and evil. That knowledge has created the world we live in.
Lent is almost upon us, a season of renewal and growing in our love for God and for our neighbors. We prepare ourselves to celebrate the redemption won for us in the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. We spend forty days looking for our lost innocence in the hope that we can transform our world from the realm of sin into the Kingdom of God.
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator