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“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love.” -St. Francis of Assisi

Pope Francis: why do good things happen to bad people?


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Pope Francis shared that just the day before he had received “a letter from a brave mom” who, at 40 years of age, with her husband and three children, is facing the difficulty of “a very bad kind” of tumour. The woman wrote to Pope Francis, asking: “Why is this happening to me?”. Also, the Pope added that “a few weeks ago” he had received another letter in which “an elderly woman, who was left alone because her son had been murdered by the Mafia”, also asked “why?”, adding: “I pray”. And again, in yet another letter: “I am raising children, I am moving forward with a family that loves God, so, why?”.

The Pope said that “at this time we do not see the fruits of these suffering people, these people who carrying the cross”, just as “on Good Friday and Holy Saturday the fruits of the crucified Son of God, the fruits of his suffering, were not yet visible”. Psalm 1 says that “in all that he does, he prospers”.

What does the same Psalm say about “the wicked, for whom we think everything is fine?”. Pope Francis re-read the verse: “The wicked are not so, but are like chaff which the wind drives away…. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish”. In short, “you may be fine today, you may have everything, you do not care about God, you do not care about others, you exploit others: you are unjust, only thinking of yourself, not of others”.

However, the Pope suggested, “there is one thing that Jesus said and it always comes to my mind: ‘Tell me, what is your name?’”.Yes, this people does not know their name, “they have no name”. The Pope recalled the parable of Lazarus, “who had nothing to eat and the dogs licked his wounds”. Meanwhile, “the rich man held banquets and enjoyed himself without looking at the needs of others”. The Pope noted that “it is curious how this man’s name is not mentioned”, but instead “he is only identified with an adjective: a rich man”. Indeed, “in the book of God’s remembrance, the wicked have no name: he is wicked, he an exploiter”. These are the people who “have no names but only adjectives”.

Instead, the Pontiff pointed out, “all those who try to go the way of the Lord will be with his Son, who has a name: Jesus the Saviour, a name that is difficult to understand, despite the inexplicable evidence of the Cross and all that he suffered for us”.

Pope Francis concluded by inviting those present to think over Psalm 1: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked… But his delight is in the law of the Lord”. In this way, “even when you are suffering, hope in the Lord”. Just as “we have prayed in the Collect, ask the Lord to give you what your conscience ‘does not dare to hope for.’” Yes, “ask also for that: that the Lord gives you more hope”.


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