Throughout history many of the brightest and holiest of men and women have struggled with the question of suffering and the undeniable presence of evil which seems to afflict our world. We know this much: God is not the origin of suffering and evil and as much as it remains mysterious and baffling in our individual and communal lives, the true mystery is that in Christ suffering is redemptive, because evil has been overcome.
Even in the 21st century we need only look around us to know that suffering and evil are a part of our world and that most of it has its source in the human heart. But as Christians we also look to the triumph of the Cross, to Our Lord’s death and resurrection as the source of our belief and firm hope that suffering ends and that evil does not prevail and have the last word, because human hearts can be changed.
The disciples didn’t want to believe that the Messiah for whom they had waited for so long would suffer and die. As hard as that was to believe it paled in comparison to the mystery of Our Lord’s resurrection and glorification. And yet the disciples did come to believe the two sides of the same mystery. Death gives way to life, and despair becomes hope. Each of us embraces suffering known only to us and to God.
In 2015 evil still touches our lives and our world. Yet, in the midst of it all our hope springs from our belief that Christ died and rose again that we might live, that our wounded world and our wounded hearts might be healed, forgiven and redeemed. This is what we celebrate each day in the Mass.