Why Does God Allow Suffering?

“Mary lives in union of faith with her Son all the way to the Cross… Heroically, she abandons herself to God.”

— Evangelization Calendar – April, 2021

We are suffering through an event unprecedented in living memory. Some of us have lost loved ones, friends, and co-workers. Some of us are facing devastating financial hardship. We have no past experience to help us through this. We have had to rely on the shared effort of all humanity to protect ourselves and everyone else. But, above all, we must rely on God.

It is human nature to ask, “Why is God letting this happen” Even Jesus Christ, on the cross, cried out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” But we are not forsaken. By his sacrifice on the cross, Jesus secured, for each of us, eternal life. We are promised the perfection of heaven. We are not promised a perfect life on earth.

Our loving Father is always with us. When good fortune comes our way, we often thank God. But when devastating misfortunes are upon us, we suddenly are tempted to blame God. God is not our “lucky charm.” He is our source of constant love and support throughout our lives in our journey back to our Father, our journey to sainthood.

We have perfect examples of trusting in our Lord and living with sacrifice and tribulations: Jesus, the Son of God, and Mary, his mother. Mary knows our fears, our sufferings, and our losses. She shares our pain. She is a mother who fled, as a refugee, to Egypt in order to save her son from Herod’s soldiers. She knows the panic of losing a child and the wild relief of finding him when, at the age of
twelve, Jesus stayed behind at the temple in Jerusalem, sitting among the teachers, instead of joining his parents on the journey back to Nazareth. And, finally, she saw him condemned to death, and suffered with him on the cross.

Throughout all of her pain and loss, her trust in God never wavered. When the angel had announced to her that she would conceive a son, she simply said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word.” From that day forward, Mary abandoned herself to God, the source of all her strength. We pray to our Father in this most profound time of pain and need, and know that we have not been abandoned. We ask Mary to intercede for us as our mother, who understands our very human suffering and loss. Mary was always there with her son, trusting in God, and she is here with us now. We, too, must abandon ourselves to God.

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