Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Must Good Be Repaid With Evil?
Must good be repaid with evil? This is the question at the heart of Jeremiah's prayer in the first reading today. The answer we all know is no good does not have to be repaid with evil. We also all know that good is very often times repaid with evil. Jesus reveals this very clearly as He tells the Apostles that He will be mocked, scourged, and crucified by the Gentiles after the Chief Priests and the Scribes condemn Him and hand Him over to the Romans. He who looked upon all and loved them, will be looked upon and mocked. He who touched so many, so gently and healed them, will have His flesh torn with the violent scourge of the lash. He who is the fount of Life, the well spring of Salvation, will be beaten nearly to death then revived to suffer the most grueling and humiliating execution the ancient world could offer. So yes Good is often repaid with Evil. In the midst of our own sufferings we are often left wondering or even complaining like Jeremiah "Must good be repaid with evil?". Our Lord's example is very different. It is Jesus whom we are called to imitate. He does not selfishly cry out. He instead is selfless. At His arrest He heals Malchus the High Priest's servant. At His trial before the High Priest and at His condemnation before Pilate He remains silent instead of refuting the lies sworn against Him and manifesting His Authority which would have condemned the Human Race. On the Way of the Cross He tells the Women of Jerusalem not to pray for Him but for themselves and their children. Hanging on the Cross He forgives and grants eternal life to St. Dismus, the Good Thief. He gives Mary His Beloved Mother to all humanity to be our own Mother. Even in the confirmation of His Death at the end of a lance he heals the Centurian by the blood and water that gushed forth as a fount of Mercy upon St. Longinius. Prior to His death Jesus says " It is finished". He has completed the Father's Holy Will. He who taught us to pray the Our Father, THY WILL BE DONE, has indeed allowed it to be done by wicked and evil men. All for our sake. All because of the Father's Love of us. He was not preoccupied with the evil that He was being repaid with unless it would turn His executioners to the Truth, as He questioned those who interogated Him before the High Priest, or in His dialogue with Pilate. So we should imitate Him even as we are repaid evil for the good we do. We should not harbor resentment nor ill will against those who hurt us. Instead we should examine our own conscience when we are hurt. We should examine our own motivations in doing the good that we do. Is it to be rewarded by those whom are the beneficiaries of our good works, or is to do the Father's Will? To Love as He Loves. To serve as He serves. This is in fact a very sore point for many. Many refuse this invitation to walk with Jesus this way of selflessness and suffering thinking they do not deserve to be treated so badly. Jesus Did Not Deserve to be Mocked, Scourged, and Crucified. But He offered all of it up, even His very Life to the Father for Love of you and me. In order to complete the Father's Will. Our Salvation. The least we could do then is repent this Lent and Believe the Good News even if we cannot totally let go of the hurt and resentment we feel towards those who have repaid us evil for the good we have done.