Does everything happen for a reason? The story of Job and the lessons of Jesus teach us something different. Christopher Alt, SJ, reflects in this week’s One-Minute Homily. Based on the readings for Sunday, February 7, 2021.
“Everything happens for a reason” … right?
Hi, I’m Christopher Alt and this is my One-Minute Reflection.
Today we hear from the suffering Job, who cries out: “God, why is this happening to me?” Job’s friends respond: “Everything happens for a reason. You must have done something wrong. And this is what you get.”
Hidden in this explanation is the belief that God somehow wills bad things to happen. But as Christians, this is simply not the God we know, especially in Jesus. Just look at today’s Gospel.
Today Jesus encounters a sick woman and her frightened family. Nowhere is it suggested that God caused this woman’s illness. The people in this story are not asking: “God why is this happening?” But rather, “God, see what is happening. Can you help?”
Illnesses and tragedies do not come from God. Our misfortunes are not caused by God’s hand. But God’s hand is in each situation, ready to help us up.
Everything happens for a reason? Nah. Rather: In everything, God is present, ready to make new things happen.