Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,
I hope this finds you well and safe.
In the past year we have been living in fear of being infected with Covid19. Whether we admit it or not, we may have been praying more than ever. And for many of us, these past months have been a test of our faith in God.
In the Gospel this weekend, we read about two of the miraculous healings and mighty works that Jesus did when He was in this world. They are meant to be proofs that Jesus has power over our natural fallen state. Jesus is one of us, but He is also God, and as God He has the power to deliver us from whatever ills we may be suffering in this life. Jesus tells all of us in today’s reading, “Do not be afraid, just have faith.” That is our assurance that, while we may suffer, that suffering is not from God. God’s intention is always that we might have life and have life to the full.
So, why do we suffer? Why is there so much pain and trouble in this world? Part of the answer to that question has to do with the pain and suffering that come as the result of our own bad choices. For example, when we choose to consume the things of this world excessively and not in balance with the demands of our nature, we sicken and die. Or, when we are reckless and take unnecessary risks, we may be injured or injure others. And when we choose the way of war, hate, and violence, we deprive others of the peace and security that all of us need to live well.
Scripture tells us that when humankind turned away from God, we also negatively affected all of God’s good creation as well. So, all of nature itself is also in rebellion against the good will of God. All manner of diseases and natural catastrophes came about through the willful act of human beings under the influence of the Evil One, who tempted them with the desire to be God-like.
Brothers and sisters, we are not without hope. We know that Jesus came so that we might turn again to God. We cry out to God today in thanksgiving with the words of the responsorial psalm, “I will praise you, O Lord, for you have rescued me!” Our salvation is close at hand, we need only to accept the truth that Jesus died and rose again so that we might be saved.
God bless you all.