Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Daily Lectionary: Leviticus 24:1-23; Luke 12:54-13:17

He answer them, "Do you think they were worse sinners...because they suffered these things? I tell you, no. But unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." (Luke 12:2-3)

He is risen indeed! Alleluia! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. This is what we think, isn't it? When something bad happens to us, we think, "What did I do to deserve that?" If something bad happens to someone else, "Well, I feel bad, but they did this. That's just the consequences." Or maybe we just wonder, "Why do bad things happen to good people?"

The real question is this, though: "Why do good things happen to bad people?" Why are evil people saved? Why are bad people forgiven? Why are they even offered forgiveness? Look at what they've done!"

That's all of us, though. Left to ourselves, we aren't just neutral towards God. We're not Switzerland. We're His enemies. We're sinners. In and of ourselves, we're evil--rotten to the core.

What's God going to do with such sinners? With His enemies? We'd like to think that if we were God, we would just fix everything, and then everything would be perfect. But what if, when trying to save people, they reject you, mock you, betray you, beat you, slap you, spit on you, and kill you? Then what? What will God do with people, with sinners, who do that?

"Father, forgive them." "It is finished." That's what God does. He dies for them. He sheds His blood for them. He saves them. He dies for everyone. Even the people we don't like, even the people about whom we think, "But they don't deserve it! Look at what they've done!" Yeah, well, you don't deserve it, either. What you deserve is the opposite from God. But Jesus doesn't give you that. He gives you forgiveness and eternal life.

So, what of towers falling on people, ruthless murders, people making bombs instead of medicine, tornadoes and hurricanes? This world is broken by sin. Bad things happen. But these aren't a punishment or a sign that you or anyone else is more evil than the rest. When tragedy happens, we turn to Jesus who died for all. He showers upon us His grace and mercy. He washes us at the font, binds up our wounds through our pastors, and delivers His Body and Blood.

Bad things may happen, but through His Word and Gifts, Jesus is making sure "that nothing will separate us from the love of God which is yours through Jesus Christ, our Lord. (Romans 8). He is risen indeed! Alleluia! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

This reflection is available as an mp3, click here to download and listen to it.