“God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living” (Wis 1:13). Read that line again from our first reading. God did not make death. Death and suffering and evil are not from God.
This is such a crucial understanding. There is death and suffering and evil in the world. We can be tempted to blame God for this and reject him. Why did God give my loved one cancer? Why did God cause these hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, forest fires, etc? Why doesn't God do something about these school shootings?
The problem of reconciling evil with God's existence has been around forever. We are not new in trying to grapple with it. In fact, it's so common to muse on the problem that the issue has a name. It's called theodicy. Theodicy is trying to figure out how evil in the world fits in with God.
Now, I'm not going to solve the centuries-old problem in this bulletin article. (If you ever want to discuss it with me, I am more than happy to do so.) I will simply say that God does not cause evil. He chooses not to intervene to stop it, but he does not produce it. God is aware of the evil in the world and he has compassion for us.
What is important for us is to turn to God when we encounter evil and suffering. If we choose to be angry at God and reject him, we only make our situation worse. If we turn to God, as Jairus and the hemorrhaging woman from the Gospel do, we'll be much better off. We might even see the evil not as a curse, but as a blessing.
The old "lounge" meeting room in the parish center has been completely renovated, thanks to a generous donation from a parishioner. We now have, at no cost to us, a large board room table, nearly 40 state-of-the-art chairs, couches, a 65" flat screen TV for the wall (in addition to a few other flat screen TVs), and some more items. This is more than $15,000 worth of furniture! We are looking for one or two nice pieces of framed, religious artwork for the lounge. If you have something you would like to donate, please let me know and we'll see if we can use it.
Vacation Bible School begins this week, July 8th. It will run through Friday, with activities for youth during the day (including daily Mass, Reconciliation, faith talks, and games) and teens in the evening. The program is called Totus Tuus. We welcome the Totus Tuus team of young adult volunteers, who will be with us for the week. This is an excellent program and we are blessed to have it here at St. Juliana. Thank you Mary Petrash for coordinating this effort.
Registration for the Men's Club Golf Outing on Saturday, August 18th is open. The day is very fun, and the golf outing committee has been hard at work to plan it. Please sign up if you haven't already.
Happy Independence Day. Enjoy yourselves, wherever you may be, and may God continue to bless our great nation.
Yours in Christ,