Jesus said to them,
“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!
For if the mighty deeds done in your midst
had been done in Tyre and Sidon,
they would long ago have repented,
sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon
at the judgment than for you.
And as for you, Capernaum, ‘Will you be exalted to heaven?
You will go down to the netherworld.’
Whoever listens to you listens to me.
Whoever rejects you rejects me.
And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”
Jesus is saying that we need to repent, especially if we have been given much. There is even an effect on cities and nations.
John Paul II wrote in his last book, ‘Memory and Identity’, “later, when the war was over, I thought to myself; the Lord allowed nazism twelve years of existence, and after twelve years the system collapsed. Evidently this was the limit imposed by Divine Providence upon this sort of folly. In truth, it was worse than folly- it was ‘bestiality’ as Konstanty Michalski wrote. Yet the fact is that Divine Providence allowed that bestial fury to be unleashed for only twelve years. If communism had survived for longer and if it still had the prospect of further development to come, I thought to myself at the time, there had be a meaning in all this…If I have wanted to underline the limit imposed upon evil in European history. I must conclude that the limit is constituted by good-the divine good and the human good that have been revealed in that history, over the course of that last century and of entire millennia. Yet it is hard to forget the evil that has been personally experienced: one can only forgive. And what does it mean to forgive, if not to appeal to a good that is greater than any evil? This good, after all, has its foundation in God alone. Only God is this good. The limit imposed upon evil by divine good has entered human history, especially the history of Europe, through the work of Christ. So it is impossible to separate Christ from human history. This is exactly what I said during my first visit to Poland, in Victory Square, Warsaw.”
Thoughts for the day: John Paul II spoke of there being a meaning to the rise of Nazism and Communism. It is true that Communism forced the Church to develop her ‘social teaching.’ God works in human history. The reemergence of Islam as a greater political and spiritual force in the world fits into Divine Providence. John Paul II would ask us, ‘what is the meaning?’ Maybe the meaning is to force us to see each other as brothers and sisters under the one Fatherhood of God.
Comforting thought: God allows evil to touch our lives, but he is teaching us something even in this. God allows evil to touch our lives to bring about a greater good. Nothing happens to us without God’s Permission. Everything that happens to us fits into Divine Providence. May we ask the Holy Spirit to give us ears to listen to what God is saying to us.