Todays’ Gospel prompts us to ask the question, “What is God’s will?” Usually, we ask this question when there are problems, disasters, tragedies, pandemics, illness, etc. Why is this so?

Why are earthquakes, cyclones, floods, droughts etc called, “acts of God”, while sunshine, flowers, rainbows, and other beautiful things called the works of mother nature? Why is the death of a child called, the will of God, while good health is attributed to one’s own exercise and diet?

Could it be because we have a strange view of God?  Is He in our minds, a stern judge, a divine punisher, who sends us pain to punish us for our sins? If that is the way we think, then what do we think of Jesus’ words in John 3:16, which says that , “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that all who believe in Him, might not perish but have eternal life”.

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None of us would wish upon our own child, serious illness, or death. So why would we say that God would say that to those He loves?

Jesus spent His time blessing and healing people as we read in today’s Gospel.

When we make those kinds of accusations on God, it seems that we are actually saying, “This is how God would have made the world if He had taken my advice”.

God came into the world, not to inflict evil, suffering, and death, but to overcome them. We can call many things evil, or the result of carelessness or sin, but let us not call them, “the will of God”.

We understand God’s will better if we do not always expect Him to do things our way.

He always gives us the strength to carry our Cross, and to transform tragedy into a blessing.

We should, however, say that when we suffer, God shares our sorrow and grief. It is very good to have a true understanding of ourselves and our life. Our earthly existence is only a small part of our life. Our life with God in eternity is also a very important part of our story. As St Paul said, “If we have hoped in Christ only in life on this earth, then we are all men most to be pitied. (Cor:19)

We must believe that God is powerful enough to help us use the evil things that happen to us for good. He took the “cross”, the greatest evil that people did to Him, and made it into the best thing that has ever happened to us. St Paul says, “God works for good in everything, for those who love Him”. (Romans 8. 28)

We know that many of our sorrows and suffering are traceable to human error and sin, but there are many things we simply cannot explain. Sometimes we have to say that we simply do not know why things happen to us, but we should say, “whatever happens, God love me”. He always gives us the strength to carry our Cross, and to transform tragedy into a blessing.

Lord, help us to believe!

Bishop Peter Stasiuk C.Ss.R. AM