“The Lord has forsaken me; my God has forgotten me. Where is God? Has be become so weak? Has he become so evil that he cannot save me?” At some point of our Christian faith and journey, the above conclusions and questions have crossed our minds. It has often led us to near despair and others to real despair. The reality of suffering and its correlatives are as existential as they are painful, such that a simple reminder of the universality of suffering does not strike the heart of the sufferer with comfort. At such moments what we all expect and want is a genuine and real response to the plea for God’s help and intervention.
It can be comforting and it should be, when we read and encounter the God of Isaiah in the first reading telling the suffering and near-despair flock of the Jews: “In time of favour I answer you, on the day of salvation I help you…I will never forget you.” Yes, despite all appearances to the contrary, despite all the problems and evils that seem to pile up on us, God has never, never and will never forsake anyone nor will he cease to love and care for us. And this comforting as well as encouraging.
We may have acted badly towards him, and we may even do it over and over again. No matter. Scripture reassures us again and again that the Lord is good and compassionate towards all his creatures. Some people may have become skeptical when the mountains of grief and disappointment pile high and when the ocean of failure seems to sink their lives. St. John tells us in the Gospel acclamation of today: “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that all who believe in him may not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus, in the gospel, tells us that if we believe in him then we have eternal life. To believe therefore in the Word of God which assures us of God’s constant care and love is encouraging. Therefore, let us march-on this lent with courage, never giving up, come what may and never bowing low to any evil for the love of God is stronger than all the evil put together.