The First Reading shows us why God received Abel’s offering and not Cain’s. Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel for his part brought of the firstlings of his flock, their fat portion. Cain offered just anything from his harvest while Abel offered the firstfruits of his flock. Cain offered what he wanted to give to God, but Abel offered what was appropriate for God. There is a difference between these two attitudes. One is from a person’s own decision, the other is what pleases God. This is why it is important to worship God in the way that pleases him, rather than in what I think will please him.
Cain was angry so God spoke to him: why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it. Cain did not do what was right which is why God did not accept him. When Cain decided what he wanted to offer God, he opens himself to sin. Yet, God told Cain, sin can be mastered. Sadly, Cain allowed sin to master him instead and this led to the killing of his brother.
When we relate to God, we relate with him based on who he is and not on what I think he is. We do not worship God according to my idea of him, but we worship him according to how he wants to be worshiped. This is why a priest cannot change the words at mass because the words in the liturgy is owned by the Church and not by the priest. Changing the words means the priest knows how God should be worshiped rather than being obedient and follow what the Church says.
This is show in the Gospel Reading today, where the Pharisees demand a sign from Jesus. They had their own idea of Jesus so despite the numerous miracles and signs Jesus did, they still demand a sign. Which is why Jesus told them why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation. Mark tells us: Jesus left them.
We cannot worship God the way we want. We worship him the way he wants to be worshiped. We cannot relate to God based on our imagination. We worship him in Spirit and Truth.
Lord, let me not worship you the way I think you should be worshiped. Let me not hold on to my idea of you. Remove these false images I have of you and reveal yourself to me so I can worship you in Spirit and Truth.