Very often we hear the important scriptural message that we cannot truly love God if we don’t love our neighbour. Those who think they can are deceiving themselves. The first reading teaches us that revolt against God eventually leads to sins against those with whom we share our lives.
For a reason that isn’t fully explained, Cain didn’t find favour with God. We don’t know what the problem was, but although he offered sacrifice to God, it was empty of meaning. We must assume that since love for God wasn’t in Cain’s heart the offering meant nothing. On the other hand, Cain’s brother Abel was pleasing to God because of the sincerity of his worship. As a result Cain became so jealous of Abel that he murdered him.
Because Cain didn’t love God he didn’t love even his own brother. And trying to live a good life without love for God is like trying to drive a car without petrol or expecting a light to come on without electricity. Those without love for God easily commit crime.
Through God’s gift we have his love in our hearts. And the degree of that love directly influences our relationship with other people. The Mass is a vital way of deepening our love for God. And as we grow in love for God, so we grow in love for our neighbour.