First Reading: Ws 2:1a. 12-22; Psalm: 34. R. v. 19a; Gospel: Jn 7:1-2. 10. 25-30
THE PROBLEM OF EVIL
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
One of the most non-consensual debates for many centuries till date is the problem of evil. The bone of contention is on the question of how we can reconcile the existence of evil with an omnibenevolent, omniscient and omnipotent God. If God is all-merciful and all-powerful, why would he permit or allow evil to happen? Why can’t he prevent or stop it? Other similar questions are: Why do evil schemes thrive more than good in our world? Why do good people get the short end of the stick while evil doers are glorified? Why is it that good people don’t last?
This reality is evident even in the scriptures. The first reading of today recounted the evil scheme of the ungodly men against the righteous. A plan orchestrated just for the pleasure of it and to test the God of the righteous. This evil plan foreshadows the scheme of the Jewish leaders who would arrest and kill Jesus for nothing other than the good works he was doing. It was as though Jesus watched passively unperturbed as he was slowly and painful murdered in a cruel manner. How can we explain this?
First, we need to understand that the suffering and death of Jesus was the resultant effect of man’s disordered affection; that tameable desire and inclination of man towards selfish and evil actions. Secondly, it was man’s misuse of the free will (which is the wheel of our actions) that led to the cruel death of Jesus. So all the ill treatments on Jesus were actually controllable but were done out of man’s volition.
The evil action of man towards man in our world today is something controllable. Evil happens because of our disordered affections and misuse of the free will. If we can tame our selfish and evil desires, our world would be homely. But that we often fail to do this implies that this world is not a home. A true home is a place of peace and rest. When we suffer for righteousness sake we should persist and not give up in our good works. Suffering and persecution is inevitable for any follower of Christ. But remaining faithful till the end is the surest way to heaven our true home.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Lord Jesus, purify the intentions of our heart and help us to love one another. Amen.