God is with us. Have you really spent any time to think about the beauty of that statement? God is with us. It can be easy for us to take for granted this basic truth of our faith. God is with us. In just a few days we will commemorate the tremendous gift of God become human. The Word made flesh. God is with us.
But do we fully comprehend the beauty of our God who is close to us? Understandably, as in the first reading, people who have experienced difficult situations, circumstances, or events in their lives have a hard time believing that God is with us. Those who suffer because of domestic violence or abuse may have a hard time believing that God is with us. Those parts of the world that are wracked by violence because of war, or even in our own country because of gun violence, and other types of violence, may question whether or not God is really with us.
In fact we know the problem of evil is a barrier that many cannot overcome believing in God. How could an all loving God permit evil? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why doesn’t God step in and prevent senseless tragedies? How can it be that God is with us when so many of these horrible things are still occurring?
The truth is very complex, and even the answers traditionally given do not always satisfy. But what today’s readings assure us of is the fact that God is indeed with us. It is not the case that we are spared from every difficulty of life. We know for instance that many of the things that occur in our lives that are in fact people come because of our own hands. We fight too much, share too little, and harm too often. We commit evil actions against one another.
The truth when encountering today’s readings is that God is indeed with us. God stands with us. God extends to us the gift of new life. God becomes one in our messy existence. Even though we do not always treat each other well God remains always with us, by our side, forgiving, loving, and caring for us.