Catholic Q&A

I feel devastated by the unending misfortunes in my family. Is it because I am a sinner that God does not care for me?

Life is indeed tragic! People usually considered me a “happy-go-lucky person,” but recently individuals close to me have experienced a variety of misfortunes, and this has made me realize that life is not always rosy. A close acquaintance of mine has been diagnosed with an incurable disease, despite his still being a hard worker. A student of mine had no choice but to skip class, in order to care for an ailing family member. I also had a former student who was left alone, after a close family member died. Some get so tired of nursing sick relatives that they have no energy left to cope with the future, and some have no idea as to how to pursue their lives hereafter. On hearing such tales, I feel depressed over my inability to do anything to help them.

You may recall that throughout his life Jesus was a friend to the poor, the hurt, the forsaken, and those despised as sinners. The Gospels inform us that Jesus heard a mother’s frantic plea for her daughter’s recovery (Mark 7: 24~30), and we know also of the episode where he had pity on a widow who wept near the coffin of her only son who was dead, and raised the young man to life. (Luke 7: 11~17).

The author of the Gospel of Matthew describes this mode of life of Jesus by using the words of the Prophet Isaiah, namely, “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.” (Matthew 8.17).

More than anything else it is the cross of Jesus that informs us of it. Christian faith consists in believing that the sufferings of Jesus on the cross were essentially acts performed for us. Jesus served as the vessel that conveyed the love of the Father to the poor, and for the sake of the love of God and his people, he dared to accept the destiny of his impending death. He readily dedicated his life for the little people. The words uttered by Jesus at the last supper, namely, “This is my body given for you,” (Luke 22:19), inform us of the significance of his cross. These words are still repeated the world over, at the time of celebrating Holy Mass (a ceremony linked to the Lord’s Supper). They inform us that whenever we are overwhelmed by suffering and sorrow we are never alone, because Jesus will assume all our griefs and woes.

The Christian faith believes that Jesus Christ did not merely encounter people in the land of Israel 2000 years ago. As the Lord raised up in the glory of God, we believe that through History he is always and everywhere the mediator of God’s love, he suffers with those who suffer, endures the woes of the afflicted, and grants them comfort and strength to sustain their miseries. So I pray for those who have confided their various griefs to me, so that the Lord Jesus may help them. There is nothing more I can do for them. However, it is not the help received from human beings, but rather the help received from the Lord that ultimately serves as the greatest solace and strength, for the helpless people who traverse the arduous journey of life.

“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you.” (Psalm 55:23).

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