Tuesday in the Fourth Week of Easter
Scripture Readings: Acts 11:19-26; Jn 10: 22-30
After Charles Darwin watched his beloved ten-year-old daughter, Annie, slowly die of tuberculosis he stopped believing in an all-powerful and loving God. For how could God cause or permit such grief by suffering and death, even of his own Son? But Jesus reveals that the Father is not indifferent, nor uncaring nor the cause, rather, God grieves and works with us in the universal struggle against evil.
It is a fundamental principle in the Gospel of St. John that “Jesus and the Father are one,”(Jn. 10:30).“Whoever has seen me has seen the Father,” (Jn 14:9). “If you know me then you will also know my Father,”(Jn 14:7). So, when Jesus prays, “Let this chalice pass from me, yet not as I will but as you will, “he is showing us the Father saying, “If it be possible let this chalice pass from you, yet not as I will but as you will. “When Jesus dies on the cross saying, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me, “we should hear the Father saying, “Oh, Jesus my son, would I had died instead of you, Oh, Jesus, my son, my son.” The Father and Jesus are not engaged in a struggle with each other. Rather, with one heart and one Spirit they are struggling together against evil and all the terrible consequences of sinful free will in a fallen world.
When we suffer from the tragedies of life, God grieves with us. And because God is all-powerful and infinitely loving he can change our grief, our innocent suffering and our repentant sinfulness into everlasting happiness. I like to imagine the amazement and joy of Charles Darwin being forever reunited with his beloved child, Annie, in the kingdom of heaven!