When tragedy strikes, one of the first who gets blamed is God. Where was God when Tsunamis hit the Indian Ocean and Japan? Where was God when the earthquake shook Chile? Haiti? And the rest of the world? Where is God during war? A parent had to deal with the question of her teenage child who asked, “If God is good why did my classmate commit suicide?” The question becomes harder to answer when tragedy enters into our own personal lives. We pray, we fast, we share, we go to Mass, yet the prayer seems to be “unanswered.”
The Gospel often talks about God and His Love for us. To show us how much God loves us, He sent His only begotten Son, but how can we find God’s love in times of tragedy?
Three things we can remember:
- Be Hopeful. As Jesus experienced the tragedy of the cross, He held on to God. Job lost his family and property, and his earthly wealth, yet he was always hopeful. If the sun does not shine, it doesn’t mean it is not there anymore. Let us just take the different seasons of life as part of life.
- Live for the Moment. When tragedy strikes we try to figure things out. We end up overthinking and then worrying. I love the imagery of the famous Underground River in Palawan – “Even the deepest recesses of earth are full of life.” Take it one miracle, one blessing, one thing to be grateful for, at a time.
- Wisdom. Why aspire for an easy life when the lessons that make us wise and more human are experienced in the tragedies of life. Remember, the strongest souls come out of the tragedies of life as long as we focus on God.
In every Mass, despite the tragedies of life, there is so much to be grateful for:
- First, we still have life.
- Second, God has a plan. It involves not only me but the many people around me. Often, the bigger the challenge, the bigger the destiny.
- Third, we may never get answers from all the sufferings, but we can always trust God.