Reflections of God's Goodness
Spring has always reminded me of how God has imbedded His life into His creation. As the grass greens and flowers bloom, belief in the Resurrection of all creation comes alive. Jesus is Risen and He invites us into the resurrected life!
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the firmament proclaims the works of his hands.”
In contrast to the signs of Spring and our Easter Joy, the news from Ukraine remains grim. Images of pain and suffering flow out of Ukraine daily. People flee for their lives, mourn the loss of loved ones, and pray for an end to the violence. War is a product of envy, greed, and evil.
Conflicts rage around the world. In Ukraine, Afghanistan, Israel and Africa to name a few. People are suffering. Our God is not absent from this picture. God created us in love, and he created the entire universe and all that is contained within it. In some mysterious way, God’s life in us is connected to God’s life in every person, tree, plant, river, ocean, animal, galaxy, solar system, the entire universe.
“Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made.”
Here is the good news. God’s love is not like our love. It is a self-emptying love. A love that gives all. A love that dies on a cross for us. A love that draws all creation to itself. God’s love is eternal. It overcomes death to bring new life.
“I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.”
Jesus came to overcome injustice, pain, and suffering. In Jesus, God poured out His love for us on the cross. People mocked Jesus. Even He cried out, “My God, my God, oh why have you abandoned me.” Easter morning showed the power of God to all the world through His Resurrection.
We too, cry out to God and wonder if He has abandoned us. Does God have some master plan we know nothing about? I do not think so. Contemporary theologian Denis Edwards suggests we think of God as the Divine Attractor. We know that evil and suffering exist, and we cannot figure out the answer as to why or how. We are not God. Nevertheless, we can meet Him as the Great Attractor. He pulls us into Himself and holds us closer and closer.
That is why we see persecuted people professing their faith and hope amid the suffering and violence. God has made His presence known and pulls them closer. Like a Shepherd, He holds them in His arms. Let us pray together as Jesus taught us, that His Kingdom will come, and His will might be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Sister Mary Ann Barnhorn, SNDdeN
“What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”