Cain is punished for killing his brother Abel - Catholic Courier
A colorful illustration depicts Cain and Abel with their offerings. Cain was jealous of his brother Abel after Abel's offering found favor with God. (Illustration by Linda Jeanne Rivers)

Cain is punished for killing his brother Abel

Reading for Feb. 13, 2023: Gn 4:1-15, 25

In this issue:

Children’s story: Cain is punished for killing his brother Abel
Essay Question
Bible Accent: Adam and Eve disobey God
Saint for Today: St. Anne Line
Puzzle: Fill in the blanks

After being expelled from the Garden of Eden for disobeying God, Adam and Eve began to have children.

They named their firstborn son Cain.

“I have produced a man with the help of the Lord,” Eve said.

The couple had a second son, whom they named Abel.

Abel grew up to be a keeper of flocks, while Cain became a tiller of the soil.

In time, Cain brought an offering to God from the fruit of the soil, while Abel brought one of the best firstlings of his flock.

God looked with favor on Abel’s offering but not Cain’s.

Cain was very upset.

“Why are you so resentful and crestfallen,” God said to Cain. “If you do well, you can hold up your head; but if not, sin is a demon lurking at the door: His urge is toward you, yet you can be his master.”

Cain did not listen to God. Instead, he hatched an evil plan.

One day, Cain approached his brother.

“Let us go out in the field,” he said to Abel.

When Cain and Abel reached the field, Cain suddenly attacked his brother and killed him.

Soon after, God approached Cain.

“Where is your brother, Abel?” God asked.

Cain became defensive.

“I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” he replied.

“What have you done?!” God exclaimed. “Listen: Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the soil! Therefore you shall be banned from the soil that opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. If you till the soil, it shall no longer give you its produce. You shall become a restless wanderer on the earth.”

“My punishment is too great to bear,” Cain said. “Since you have now banished me from the soil, and I must avoid your presence and become a restless wanderer on the earth, anyone may kill me at sight.”

God then put a mark on Cain so no one would kill him.

“If anyone kills Cain, Cain shall be avenged sevenfold,” God said.

After Abel died, Adam and Eve once again expanded their family. Eve bore another son, whom they named Seth.

“God has granted me more offspring in place of Abel,” Eve said, “because Cain slew him.”


Genesis 4


1. Why was Cain upset?

2. What did Cain do to Abel?

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Essay Question

When have you received a consequence for doing something wrong?

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Bible Accent

How did Adam and Eve disobey God when they lived in the Garden of Eden?

In Genesis 3, we read that of all the animals God had created, the serpent was the most cunning. One day, the serpent spoke to Eve in the Garden of Eden.

“Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?” the serpent asked.

“We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die,’” Eve replied.

“You certainly will not die!” the serpent scoffed. “No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is evil.”

Eve saw that the tree was pleasing to the eyes, good for food and desirable for gaining wisdom.

She took some fruit from the tree and ate it. She also gave some to Adam, and he ate too.

Once they ate the fruit, their eyes were opened, just as the serpent had said.

And when they heard God in the garden, they hid from him among the trees.

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Saint for Today: St. Anne Line

Anne Heigham was born in England in 1565, a time when Catholics were being persecuted. Even so, she and her brother converted to Catholicism and were disowned by their Protestant father.

Anne married Roger Line, a fellow convert to Catholicism, but he left her penniless after he died in exile in Flanders in 1594.

Despite suffering poor health, Anne began working with Jesuits in London to operate safe houses for priests, who oftentimes were imprisoned, tortured and killed.

Since aiding a priest was a crime, in February of 1601 Anne was arrested, tried and convicted of hiding a priest and was put to death. We remember her on Feb. 27.

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Using the hints provided, fill in the blanks in the sentences about Adam and Eve.

1. God made Eve from one of Adam’s _______. (Genesis 2:21-22)

2. The _______ asked Eve about what she could eat in the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 3:1)

3. Adam and Eve _______ from God. (Genesis 3:8)

4. God made _______ garments for Adam and Eve. (Genesis 3:21)

Answers: 1. ribs; 2. serpent; 3. hid; 4. leather

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