THE EVIL IN MAN
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
1st Reading: Wis 2:1a. 12-22; Psalm: 34. R. v. 19a; Gospel: Jn 7:1-2. 10. 25-30
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 recounts 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 religious leaders who would seek to arrest and kill Jesus for nothing other than the good works he was doing. Eventually, Jesus who is God would not resist his arrest and his subsequent crucifixion. It was as though God watched passively unperturbed as he was slowly and painful murdered in a cruel manner. This is unimaginable. How can we explain this?
First, we need to understand that in the case of Jesus’ suffering, it was the resultant effect of man’s disordered affection. That tamable 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. All the ill treatments on Jesus were controllable but yet done out of man’s volition.
The evil action of man towards man in our world today is something controllable. It happens because of our disordered affection and misuse of the free will. If we can tame our selfish and evil desires, our world would be homely. But that we most often fail to do this means that this world is not a home. A true home is a place of peace and rest. Whatever painful experience we are going through at the moment because of our fidelity to the faith we profess should not mar but strengthen us. As far as being a Christian is concerned, persecution is inevitable. But our part is to wrestle this evil through love and make our world a better place.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Lord Jesus, purify the intentions of our heart. Amen.