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Friday, June 19, 2015


Mark 4:35-41

         Master, do you not care? We are going down!” the cry of the disciples over Jesus who was fast asleep in the middle of a storm!  It has been the same cry that reverberated in history  when humanity is besieged with different forms of monstrosities!

        Where was God during the following recent world tragedies: Haiyan, the strongest typhoon in world history that killed more than 6,000 people and displaced 10 million Filipinos; the recent 7.8 earthquake which left more than 8,800 dead in Nepal; hundred of thousands of Christians murdered in the open by the ISIS; the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines MH17 with 283 passengers; the plane crash of Germanwings carrying 150 people.  

      And what did God do when five millions of Jews were gassed in Auschwitz in the 1940’s?  How about the atrocities in Rwanda in 1994 that killed 800,000 people in 100 days?  Where was God in the genocides of the 180,000 Kurds in Al-Anfal; the wiping out of the Moriori race; the Native American genocide that led millions of natives to perish together with their tribes and cultures; the displacements of thousands of children in the stolen generations of Australia; the Armenian and the Bosnian genocides? Why did not God intervene in the mass murder by the government of the USSR of about 41 million of its citizens (1917 to 1987) and the government of China murdering 35 million of its citizens (1949 to 1987)!  The list goes on… a shame on our barbarity and a slap on the face of humanity!

         Human tragedies both nature and man-made in the massive scale finds its microcosm deep within each human person.  We all struggle against anything that threatens the very core of life!  To those who cannot fathom the inability of God to thwart or at least diminish the sufferings in the world turn to “protest atheism.”  They could not understand a God who is “up there” watching innocent people suffer.  Their motto: if there is God, why does he let evil happen in the world?   Job, a very pious man in the Old Testament who lost everything in life asked the same question: “Why do bad things happen to good people?”  God's response to Job is in the First Reading today (Job 38: 1, 8-11).  

         What is the Christian response to this never-ending problem of evil?   The key to understand it is the Paschal Mystery of Jesus.  In the eyes of the world, the Father of Jesus “did not do anything" to intervene and save the One who claimed to be God's Son!  The result was the seemingly total failure of the “project of Jesus”.   To the bystanders, he was a criminal who did not deserve anything but to die like an animal. Now, where was the Father who sent Jesus to save the world when Jesus needed him the most?  In a cry of utter emptiness and desperation, Jesus felt his Father and God abandoned him: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”  And Jesus died a useless death!  But the story did not end in tragedy because the response of the God and Father of Jesus was not according to the expectations of the people who clamoured for the spectacular and magic to ease the suffering right before their eyes.  God has something more grand to offer: the Resurrection!  God’s justice is served in a more magnificent way beyond the expectations of humanity. 

         When our boats are in the brink of collapse, we are no saints not to be frightened by the waves and strong winds just like the apostles but we turn to our “sleeping Captain” whose presence gives us an assurance that there is no storm bigger than him.  All we need is to believe that nothing can harm us when we are in the boat of God; He will make sure that we are safely docked ashore!  God is in charge!

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