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The Violence Continues

Today’s (7/26/16) first reading comes from the Book of Jeremiah.  Jeremiah served as a prophet in a time when people had fallen away from faith in our God.  The people faced a very difficult time and wondered if God had abandoned them.  Of course, God had not.  God was simply allowing them to suffer the consequences of their sins.

Jeremiah called upon God to save the people for the sake of his Holy Name.  In those days, there were people who believed that there were many different gods.  If bad things happened to you, it meant that your god wasn’t powerful enough to protect you or was an angry, punishing God.  Jeremiah calls upon God to save his people to show his goodness so that God’s name may be hallowed.

The people continued to sin and so God allowed them to be defeated by their enemy, the Babylonians.  Many were taken away in Exile.  The people continued to feel abandoned but over time many returned to the Lord.  Then God set them free from the Babylonians.

Now all one has to do is much the news to see how bad things are getting.  Before saying Mass this morning, I checked the news headlines and I read of two different violent attacks overnight.  One was in France in a church and the victims include an 84 year old priest who was stabbed to death.  The other attack happened in Japan where a man went into a center and started killing people with disabilities.

When people today see this, the “God question” comes up.  Does God exist?  If God does exist why does He allow evil?  If God does exist, does the fact that He allows the violence mean He doesn’t care or doesn’t have the power to do anything about it?

Of course, God exists!  The problem is that people aren’t listening.  Some people don’t even try to listen.  Some might think they are listening but really are just doing what they want.  Then there are those who truly desire to follow God’s will but find it difficult with all the voices that say you can do whatever you want.

The world needs to hear about Jesus.  We need to share what we know about our faith.  If some people choose not to listen, that is their choice but we must share the gospel message if we want all to live as God teaches.

Peace,

Fr. Jeff

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