Monday 15 December 2014

Monday of Week 6 Year 1

When we offer our services or talents to others, do we expect something in return? Some of us may expect others to be grateful to us; some of us may expect others to be nice to us or treat us favourably in return (like a "I scratch your back, you scratch mine" mentality); some of us may begin to feel proud, thinking that our ability to offer such services or talents is due to our own effort or our own capabilities. But what if we do not get a favourable response or the kind of response we expect from the other person; or the other person seems not grateful or thankful to us, or the other person does not respond in any way whatsoever? Would we become angry, upset, or fed up towards others? Or would we be humble enough to offer all we have done to God and give Him the glory?

In today's reading, we come across two brothers, Cain and Abel. The reading tells us: "The Lord looked with favour on Abel and his offering. But he did not look with favour on Cain and his offering, and Cain was very angry and downcast. The Lord asked Cain, '‘Why are you angry and downcast? If you are well disposed, ought you not to lift up your head? But if you are ill disposed, is not sin at the door like a crouching beast hungering for you, which you must master?'" Cain was angry and jealous because his brother Abel had received the Lord's favour. As a result, in a fit of rage, Cain killed Abel and tried to cover up the deed or pretend he did not know anything about it. But as we know, we can run but we cannot hide; we can pretend but God sees and knows all we have done, even if we have been able to prevent others from knowing the truth. The question we need to ask ourselves is this: are we offering our gifts, our services or talents for the glory of God and to build His Kingdom? Or are we doing things just to please others, to show off, to look good, and possibly for our own personal gratification and to build our own kingdom?

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