Just the other day, I was talking to a friend and he asked about the reason and origin of suffering specially as so many people today endure many trials due to the pandemic. At one point, I said that suffering is not God’s purpose for our lives. He agreed. And so does the first reading today teach it: God did not make death and he does not rejoice in the destruction of his beloved creatures made in his image (Wis 1).


However it is a fact that God allows people to go through trying moments in their lives. The times we are living in is a testimony to so many people’s, including our own, inconvenience, hardship and sufferings. We are all affected in a big way, and not only financially, but in terms of personal, relational, family, health, and even spiritual matters.


The fact that God allows these to happen make people think and question whether he is truly concerned, whether he truly loves us. In the Gospel, a man approaches Jesus for the healing of his daughter, and yet the daughter dies before the  Lord arrives (Mk 5). The man’s hope was surely dashed. The answer to prayer was so close and yet his daughter missed it!


But Jesus simply said: “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” Then in the presence of her parents, the Lord raised the dead girl back to life. It was so wonderful an experience that they even remembered the exact Hebrew words the Lord Jesus uttered: “Talitha koum” (Little, girl, I say to you arise!)


God does not rejoice in human suffering but when he permits it to happen, he wants us to be strong (Do not be afraid) and to hold on to him (Have faith). At times, we will see miracles happen because of this; at other times, the Lord will reveal his will to us in another way, which we will only understand later through the enlightenment of faith and the strength of trust in him. You may not understand now, but someday you will.


Are you going through something difficult today? Is a loved one in pain or peril? Listen to Jesus and with all your heart obey his words: “Do not be afraid; just have faith.”