life without fear of the lord
“I must avoid Your presence.” —Genesis 4:14
In accepting Abel’s sacrifice and rejecting that of Cain, God must have manifested His presence to Cain and Abel in some way. How else could Cain have known that God accepted Abel’s offering and not his own? (Gn 4:4-5) Perhaps God sent fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice, as He did with that of Elijah (see 1 Kgs 18:24ff). Perhaps God simply appeared or sent an angel to communicate His acceptance of Abel’s sacrifice.
It’s incredible that God’s presence did not induce Cain to repent. In Scripture, the holy ones often fell prostrate at God’s appearing to them (see e.g. Ez 2:1; Rv 1:17) or trembled in fear. But not all people responded with fear of the Lord. Solomon had three occasions where God appeared to him. On the first two appearances, Solomon responded with fear and humility (1 Kgs 3:6-15; 9:2ff), but not on the third (1 Kgs 11:11ff). Father Abraham stated that not all respond properly to a message or appearance from God (Lk 16:31), but that a person’s response to God’s Word would determine their response to the divine presence. Almighty God appeared to Cain but he responded to God’s presence by being angry, crestfallen, and resentful (Gn 4:6).
Could our hearts be so hardened that we could respond in anger to God appearing to us? Our response to God’s Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist will reveal much about us. Do you fall to your knees in worship at Mass? Or can you be angry, resentful, and crestfallen in His presence, like Cain? Repent! Immerse yourself in the Word of God as Father Abraham advises.
Prayer: Father, soften my heart with Your love. May I always respond to Your Presence with awe and a holy, obedient gratefulness.
Promise: “I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes.” —Ps 50:21
Praise: Sarah spends time before and after Mass with Jesus, present in the tabernacle
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
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