SUNDAY 17A – 26th July 2020

Today’s Second Reading: Romans: All things work out for good for those who love the Lord (Rom 8:28).

It is a promise for those who love God. There are many examples of God turning evil to good in the lives of those who love Him. One example is Joseph, the favourite son of Jacob.

Out of jealousy Joseph was put into a well left to die by his own brothers. Then they decided to sell him as a slave to traders going down to Egypt. In Egypt he was imprisoned for two years. We would image that Joseph would have built up a lot of anger for his brothers over those two years in the dungeon.

Joseph, however, because he interpreted dreams that the King of Egypt had, the king made him second in command.

During the famine in Canaan his brothers came down from Egypt for food and he forgave them, saying to his brothers: “Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good … so have no fear I will provide for you.” (Gen 50:20).

The greatest example of God turning evil to good is Calvary. The death of Christ by means of crucifixion became the means to our salvation.

Particularly since the year 2000 we have seen an explosion of natural disasters and human violence. How can we say that God uses all these things for a greater good?

On 9/11, 2001, the Twin Towers were toppled by two planes full of people, killing almost 3,000 people. If anything caused people to question their faith in God, that did.

However, in that tragedy God revealed that He was present by performing miracles. A devout protestant man had purchased a ticket on one of the planes that collided into the Towers but did not board the plane because one of his children fell sick. He was very thankful to God. This man’s father volunteered to help rescue people buried in the ruins of the Towers when he himself was killed from falling debris. His son’s praise of God turned into anger of God. The son’s father was a non-believer and in the son’s protestant mind, his father had therefore gone to hell. Not long after the son heard of his father’s death a woman came to his home. She told the son that she had been buried in the rubble and it was his father who had rescued her and during the rescue she had persuaded him to give his life to Jesus.

Another incident at 9/11 which should convince us that God was alive and active there: As a fireman searched for dead bodies they dug underground to the basement of the building. They saw three almost perfectly formed crosses which had been formed from falling steel beams. Each cross being about the exact size of the three crosses on Calvary. In the deepest and darkest part of the building Christ was clearly to be seen as present.

Everything in life can be used to bring about a greater good. Everything should be done for the glory of God, and for a particular intercession. We all should have a particular intention to pray for. At present I am praying for a number of intentions, but particularly for a woman in great crisis. Everything I do is offered for her healing. I am particularly conscious of overcoming thoughts or desires which are bad or sinful in order to gain merit for her healing. As I am growing in my faith, I am desirous of making even greater sacrifices for her conversion.