Saturday 2 November 2013

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

As humans, we all experience some form of suffering in our lives. Some mothers suffer throughout their pregnancy due to cramps, morning sickness, and even at childbirth. Babies often suffer growing pains as they move from infant, to toddler, to beyond. There are people who constantly suffer migraine, depression, and other ailments which do not seem to go away. When these sufferings occur, some of us may begin to question: why is this happening? Is God punishing us?

We begin to think that good people enjoy life and bad people suffer. Along with this thought, we begin to think that we must have said or done something wrong or bad to have caused us to suffer. However, today's first reading tells us that this is not true. The seven brothers suffered terribly even though they were good people. Why did God allow them to suffer? Why didn't God rescue them?

Trying to find an answer to why suffering occurs is not easy. We try to explain it away, only to find that the answer is not complete, not satisfactory, not acceptable. Many learned people have in the past tried to find a good answer, only to discover that there is really no suitable answer. Just as God is a mystery, suffering is also a mystery, and a mystery is something which is slowly being revealed and points us to a greater truth.

However, we Catholics have faith in the resurrection and that helps us understand that suffering is not permanent and death is not the end. We trust that God promises life and not death, and we believe that He will care for us and raise us up. Thus, let us continue to place our hope and trust in our loving God, for as the Gospel reminds us: "He is God, not of the dead, but of the living; for to Him all men are in fact alive."

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