I turn on the news. Another school has lost victims in another shooting. The political climate is more tumultuous and hostile than ever. An earthquake has crumbled an entire city to the ground. A victim of human trafficking has been discovered after five years in servitude. A child has fallen into the pool at her relative’s house and is in critical condition . . . .
I stop by on the way home to visit my grandmother in the nursing home. She doesn’t recognize me. She can hardly speak a word. The energy of this once-globetrotter is flagging. The Alzheimers is taking her away, piece by piece . . . .
A friend phone’s to let me know that the waters have finally reached her place. Her entire first floor is under water and they had minutes to evacuate. They have lost everything . . . .
I trudge in the door of the church, not so eager to step into the darkness of the confessional. The authenticity of the symbolism there striking me square in the face. Here I go again—sharing the same failings week after week. Why is it so impossible for me to overcome these things?
Although these things are all true, they are not the end of the story. Evil will not have the final word here.
In today’s Gospel, we see the Pharisees questioning the power that Christ displays before them. But Christ reiterates for them that His power is not demonic, for it is more powerful than that of the demons. His power is above and beyond anything they have ever seen and ever will see. He can and will overcome evil in whatever form it may appear.
Christ has told us: “In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) It is easy to feel overwhelmed when we are witness to all the evil that makes an appearance in the world. But we must not lose hope, for Christ has overcome all.
It is good to take time to think on our sins and seek forgiveness during this Lenten season, but let us not become despondent about those that are a continual struggle. And, similarly, let us not lose hope concerning the suffering and evil we come face to face with daily.
The power of Christ is on our side; He will be the ultimate victor. If hope seems far away today, reach out to Christ for a boost.
Laurel Muff is a creator and appreciator of beautiful things. She resides with her husband and daughters in Northern California. You can find more about her here.