Why do we suffer?

Monday 28 March 2022 4th week of Lent

Isaiah 65:17-21
Thus says the Lord: Now I create new heavens and a new earth,

Psalm 29              I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me.

Gospel John 4:43-54
‘Go home,’ said Jesus ‘your son will live.’ The man believed what Jesus had said and started on his way; and while he was still on the journey back his servants met him with the news that his boy was alive. He asked them when the boy had begun to recover. ‘The fever left him yesterday’ they said, ‘at the seventh hour.’ The father realised that this was exactly the time when Jesus had said, ‘Your son will live’; and he and all his household believed.  


If God has created a new earth and a new heaven, why do we still suffer war?  Why does the infant die before childhood?  And why do we not live till one hundred still retaining our youthful energy?

The preceding chapters of Isaiah 65 tell us why the people of Israel have become disconnected from God due to their allegiances with other nations and taking on the worship of their gods. People of Israel have ceased to be aligned with God. But then the Lord goes on to say that for those who seek him he will provide. The Lord extends to the people of Israel who desire him complete forgiveness. “For the past troubles will be forgotten and hidden from my eyes.” 

I once directed a young man in the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises.  He proudly boasted of a special gift he had to know what people were thinking. In other words, he claimed to be clairvoyant.  I had no difficulty believing that this was possible for I saw and heard many such perplexing things in the Pacific Islands, Papua New Guinea and amongst aboriginal people in Australia.  He told me he had used it against people on some occasions and it was clear that the gift had been used to further inflate his already inflated ego. He divulged that he didn’t know why but that he had lost the gift somewhere along the way. 

When we find ourselves in alignment with God because that is where our heart and mind and soul are focused, all things are turned to good as Romans 8:28 reminds us. Jesus sets the context in Matthew 19:26 when he says, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” When we are aligned with God all things are possible. Perhaps in this we find the invitation of this Lenten season. I pray that our minds and hearts and our entire being, and even the entire world, can become aligned with the possibilities of God.