Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In the Gospel today Our Lord addresses the very question most of us ask: “why do the innocent suffer?” Our daily, if not hourly, following of the tragic and immoral conflict in Ukraine magnifies this consternation all the more. Those posing the question to Our Lord suspected that those who lost their lives were wicked and thus deserved punishment. Our Lord corrects their erroneous thinking but at the same time warns them not to sink into a sinful life. So often we want answers from God to the questions that perplex us and when we do not receive the anticipated outcome we rebel or reject what has been revealed. We are dealing with the mystery of suffering, the consequence of what has afflicted humanity since the fall of our first parents. That is the reality we have to face.
The antidote to this is faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Until the end of time we will be faced with the evil man perpetrates against man. It does not mean that we just throw up our hands in despair but instead embrace the power of prayer and forgiveness as Jesus taught us. Easy? No! But with the Lord all things are possible. And so we start with ourselves, coming before Him who is kind and merciful. When we get our own house in order through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we are better equipped to deal with the uncertainties and miseries of life. Being reconciled with God and neighbor we are more able to sympathize with those who suffer needlessly and become empathetic with them. May our prayer and sacrifice with and for the Ukrainian people and for the conversion of those inflicting such violence bring an end to the hostilities and eventual peace. May the souls lost in the violence of war now behold the face of God.