Tragedy and Death

“Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” ~ 2 Corinthians 12: 8-9a, 10

This week’s Boston Marathon attack and last night’s blast at a Texas fertilizer plant are public reminders of how fragile our existence in this life really is. Death is ever present; it always has been; it will always be. During these tragic moments some may ask “why would God let this happened?”

We live in a world where evil does exist. There are bad people in this world and tragic events are part of life. Evil and death have been among us since the fall of Adam and Eve. God does not create death; the Bible tells us so “God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living. For God formed man to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made him. But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world.” ~ Wisdom 1: 13; 2: 23-24

These tragic events are also reminders of the mercy and love God has for us. Some may ask “where was God during these events?” He was in all the people whose first action was to kneel to pray for the souls of those who lost their lives; he was in the first responders’ skillful actions to save lives; he was in all the people who provided aid, comfort, condolence, and empathy for those suffering pain. Moreover, he was in His son Jesus Christ whom he sent to die for us on a cross so that we may be freed from death and evil and enjoy everlasting life.

My heart and prayers go to the victims and their families of these tragic events.

“Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor. Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.” ~ Romans 12: 9-10, 12

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Pope Francis

Yesterday, Pope Francis 20130313_pope_blog_main_horizontalwas voted the next successor to St. Peter. This marks a new chapter in the Catholic Church; one for which I am very excited.

Much discussion since yesterday has centered on his age. Pope Francis is certainly no spring chicken. Age, however, doesn’t make a person; it is the person’s character, resolve, and the Grace of God bestowed upon the person that counts.

Throughout the history of the bible, one can encounter countless men and women advanced in age who have made enormous contributions to our faith. Abraham was 100 years old, and Sarah 90, when Isaac was born (Genesis 21:5). In today’s scriptures, we read about Moses. He was 80 years old when he led God’s people from Egypt (Exodus 7:7) and received the 10 Commandments. Zechariah and Elizabeth were both advanced in age (Luke 1:7) when the Angel Gabriel announced that they would be having a child, John the Baptist.

God has always worked in mysterious ways. I believe that the choosing of Pope Francis is God’s work. Moreover, I believe that like Abraham and Moses, Pope Francis has prepared all his life to serve God in this role. How long would it be? It doesn’t matter to me. I have faith that however long it is, it will be what God intended it to be.

When God presents us with an opportunity, it is not how old or young we are that counts; it is what we do with it. Jesus’ ministry was only 3 years. Think about how our lives were transformed by it.

Let’s pray that Pope Francis brings about God’s will.