The problem of evil remains one of faith’s greatest mysteries. If God is so loving, why, OH WHY does so much evil exist? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do horrible people reap benefits while others suffer?
In today’s gospel reading, a leper came to Jesus asking to be cured. “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Jesus, moved with pity, healed him. (Mark 1).
How many humble prayers are raised each day? Prayers for healing. Prayers for peace. Prayers for good to overcome the darkness and uncertainty that overwhelms our lives.
“God, I know you can…if you wish…please make it so!”
And yet, our prayers remain unanswered. Bad things keep happening to good people while the truly rotten thrive. We try to be people of faith, but our faith is tested over and over. Words that comforted us in the past now sound like empty, pious platitudes. All we see is the evil before us.
Life is not fair.
The world is heading to hell in a hand basket.
As each year ends, justice and peace seem more unattainable.
There are glimmers of hope around the world. Pockets of resistance are morphing into national and global movements. Women are rising together against violence, inequality and sexual abuse. The young and the old are filling the streets, raising their voices against unjust leaders and governments. There is a renewed urgency for peace.
Evil has always been, but so has goodness. In the midst of the darkest times, brave women and men have risen to speak truth to power. They know what they “wish”, and they aren’t going to sit back and wait for someone to make it happen. Moved with pity, they are determined to make it so.
And, so we pray.
And, so we do.