Fr. Kurian KollapallilWhy do bad things happen to good people? Why do the innocents suffer? Why do the infants die? People suffer undeservedly, and any person like you and me with an ounce of moral sensitivity is outraged by the injustices of our world. Then in our helplessness, ineffectiveness of the government, we turn to God and raise the question, how can a God of love permit war, sickness, pain, and death, especially when their effects often are felt most keenly by those who are apparently innocent? Abraham asked God: “Does the Judge of the whole world not act fairly?” (Genesis (18: 25) “Moses said to the Lord “ “O Lord, why have you done evil to this people? (Exodus 5:22) Friend of Job Bildad asked, “Can God pervert justice? Or doth the Almighty pervert righteousness? “And today we still ask, “Why God, why?”

The friends of Job, Bildad, Zophar and Eliphaz, they came to “comfort” him and wound up encouraging him to ask God’s forgiveness. In their way of thinking, good people were “blessed” in this life with wealth, health and family; sinners were punished with poverty and pain. Job’s misery suggested to them that he was being punished by God for some sin he committed. He is overwhelmed by his loss, physical pain and mental anguish. What was worse was his confusion about how God seemed to be treating him. He complains to God, but he doesn’t give up on God. He won’t break his relationship with God. In fact, by the end of the book his relationship with God deepens and grows stronger.

Like Job we do suffer unjustly. Sometime it is caused by one’s own spouse or at other times by the immoral and improper lives of the children. There are times our faith is tested by unreasonable sufferings or illnesses. How can we justify it? Where is God when we are at our lowest points? Is God with us or against us? Is our suffering a sign that we have displeased God and are being punished?

Jesus did not give an answer for the sufferings of this world; instead he has made known that he had come into this world to relieve mankind from the sufferings and from the power of the evil one (John 9:2-3). Jesus did not accept the common belief that suffering was the result of sin; instead he suffers with us even to the point of death on a cross. Now it is upon us to bring healing and wholeness to mankind, accompanied by the risen Lord who is the power and source of our strength and who has promised to be with us until the end of the world.

“The image of Jesus Christ bruised, wounded, pierced, crushed, crucified, has always been a beautiful mirror of love, into which the angels and saints could never cease to gaze, enraptured with sweetness and overflowing with consolation.” St. Francis de Sales