Our God,

We read the newspaper and it seems that Cain and Abel are at it again. They just can’t seem to get along. Cain was here first. But Abel’s is the best. Cain’s fruit is too crunchy. Abel, we like our meat a little better done, far less raw.

Cain hits Abel and all Hell breaks loose. Stop touching me. You are sitting on my side of the seat. No I’m not. You don’t need as much space, you’re smaller than me. Get your dirty feet off of my clean, spotless shoes. Stop hitting me. Mom, Dad – did you see what he did?

If only it would stop before it escalates. If only we could begin at the start before the first act of cruelty, the first nasty word spoken, or the first drop of blood. If only tears and tenderness would move in our hearts before fists get thrown and deadly things happen. If only we could remember that peace makers are to be blessed and that each one is a brother’s keepers. If only, if only…

But now, today, we have the chance to stop it before it begins. We can show mercy and generosity and forgiveness before our shame, guilt, and hatred strangle us.

Show us by your great big love how we should love each other. Show us by your amazing generosity how we should give to each other. Show us by your unclenched fist, by your open hand, by your widespread arms how we should greet each other.

Today, may Cain and Abel’s story be different. Today, help Cain to not strike down his brother. Today may his countenance be lifted to new possibilities and greetings of warmth and tenderness be offered. Today may we learn the art of peacemaking and how to spread friendship to all we meet. Be with us today, and help peace to reign in our hearts. Amen.

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