Most people would find it difficult to get through a day without reading or hearing about some violent or painful situation. It can be about people being beaten or killed for protesting an unjust situation in their countries, or about the threat of nuclear bombs being used by an unstable ruler.
There are stories about homes and lives being destroyed by natural disasters or of a company who has to lay off many of its employees due to the poor economy. A friend’s only child is killed or our brother gets a brain tumor in his prime.
Often people wonder why there is so much suffering and why a merciful God does not intervene.
Our faith in the Resurrection means that we believe God brings good out of suffering and evil and that the way to conquer sin is by love. This, of course, is not a popular stance in today’s environment where there is so much hatred and violence in our world and, sadly, sometimes in our homes.
As we wrap up this season of Lent and celebrate the feast of Easter, it may be good to reflect on our own attitudes. Do we feel justified in wanting to punish hatred with more violence? What are our thoughts about the death penalty (which is what Jesus died under)? Do we ever pray for the conversion of our enemies, even cruel dictators and terrorists? Sometimes it can be easier to forgive people “out there,” rather than those who have hurt us personally.
We must be willing to go deeper and discover the roots of evil and then use love to conquer it. On the feast of Easter we celebrate and proclaim that we believe, as in the case of Jesus, God can and does bring good out of suffering and that His life conquered sin and evil.
Just imagine what our lives would be like if every Christian in the world would really live the commandment of love. There would be much less war, hatred and violence. People would ask for and offer forgiveness. No one would be hungry because people would share with one another. The only news to report would be good news.
As Christians who believe in the Resurrection, we must strive to be models of love and hope. Our good works during Lent must continue throughout the rest of the year. We have a mission to make Christ known by our love. We must express our belief that, even in this gloomy, dark time, God will not abandon us — just like He did not abandon His Son, Jesus. Each of us is called to go out to all the people in our own little world and proclaim this good news.
And if current events sometimes make it hard for you to believe that God is still present in all of this, ask Him to deepen your faith and to help you to remember when He brought you out of difficulties in your life. Easter tells us that God never leaves us in our pain and often brings good out of evil.
Happy Easter season.
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