13th Sunday in Ordinary Time B21
“God did not make death nor does rejoice in the destruction of the living. “
That statement should put to rest one thing I sometimes hear at wakes/funerals, “It’s God’s will”. That statement makes God a scapegoat, responsible for anything we consider evil. (Act of God story)
One thing Scripture shouts to us is that God does not see physical infirmity, illness or death as part of God’s plan for us. The author of Genesis believed in a life-giving, creative, good God. Notice that God didn’t forbid the man and the woman from eating of the tree of immortality. Yet, they were faced with the reality of pain and death. Where did it come from? Not from God, but from the couple and their sin of disobedience. And so, God had to alter the plan of immortality, not abandon it. Throughout the Old Testament we find a caring God who continually offers life, who cures, heals and even raises from the dead particularly through the prophets. This is further emphasized in the New Testament ministry of Jesus who went about doing good, healing, touching the lepers, reaching out to people shunned because of physical and/or spiritual illness, and even restoring people to wholeness in the case of the woman and to life in the case of the young girl as we heard in today’s Gospel. In doing so, Jesus was showing us that God abhors illness and death more than we do.