Bottom line: The problem of unjust suffering stands a huge obstacle to faith. This week we will see the supreme case of unjust suffering.
I know some of you follow Bishop Bob Barron. He has a homily on the Passion of Saint Mark where talks about the young man wearing nothing but a linen cloth. He runs away leaving the linen cloth behind. As Bishop Barron notes, we will see that young man again on Easter. Don't miss it. Today, Palm Sunday I want to focus on something different.
Our prayer for the blessing of palms said, "Increase the faith of those who place their hope in you..." That's what I want to pray for this Holy Week: an increase in faith for me, for you and above all, for our children.
The biggest objection to faith is the problem of pain, especially innocent suffering. How could God allow the terrible pandemic come upon us? Or, I think about Alejandro, a boy, when he was one month old contracted meningitis, crippling his right side. His mother, Alicia, devoted her life to raising Alejandro. On March 7, after a series of illnesses, Alicia died. Alejandro sobbed uncontrollably. More than most children, his mother was the planet he lived on. How can God allow such things to happen? These questions present a huge challenge to faith. But they do not in themselves disprove God's existence.
As Rabbi Benjamin Sendrow observes, "As a believer I have to explain unjust suffering but the atheist has to explain everything. Everything." Why does anything exist and not nothing at all? Why is there order in the universe? Why do we have a sense of beauty, of right and wrong, true and false. In the animal world, whoever is strongest prevails. But you and I have a sense of justice and injustice. Even a little child says, "It's not fair!" Our sense of justice, our sense of equality depend on God's existence. No God, no equality, no justice. Nothing at all.
Even so, the problem of unjust suffering stands as a huge obstacle to faith. Well, this week we are going to see the supreme case of unjust suffering. Come back for Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter. We will see if God answers todays prayer - increase our faith.
Spanish Version (Word document)
From the Archives (Homilies for Palm Sunday)
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)
Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.
Other Priests' Homilies, Well Worth Listening:
Fr. Kurt Nagel
Fr. Frank Schuster
Fr. Brad Hagelin
Fr. Jim Northrop
Fr. Michael White
Fr Pat Freitag (and deacons of St. Monica)
Bishop Robert Barron
Bulletin (St. Mary of Valley Parish)
Parish Picture Album
MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru