Excerpts from a homily, September 16, 2001 Luke 3:1-5
All of us are affected by the great disaster that has befallen this great nation . . . We are a people of many cultures, races and ethnic groups. We are a people of many different religions . . .
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We too look forward to that glorious Day when there will be no more suffering, no more hatred, no more tears. God has promised that Day to us . . . We have been clothed with Christ and His righteousness. This message of the cross is certain hope. The Savior has conquered our enemies of sin and the devil once and for all. He has conquered the last enemy, death itself, with His glorious resurrection . . . Therefore we await the resurrection of the flesh and the certainty of eternal life in the promised land.
While we await the promised peace and glory what do we make of such suffering and death? Why does almighty God permit such things to happen to people – even those who believe in His Son? It is not our merciful God who brings these things upon us . . . Such terrible things remind us of our own weakness and how we are in desperate need of the One who created us and saved us from ourselves, our sin and eternal punishment. It is not that others are worse sinners than we are. Pilate mixed the blood of the Galileans with their sacrifices. The tower in Siloam fell and killed eighteen. Jesus died on the cross
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Why does God permit such suffering and death to fall upon His only Son? Here we see that God is really a God of mercy. His love is so great that He will not allow anything to come between Him and us, including disasters and war. Through Christ He has made us His own . . . He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? . . . Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning . . . (Lam. 3)