Deriving good from evil
April 04, 2020 - Saturday 4:04 AM by Fr. Roy Cimagala
We have to strengthen our belief in this truth of our
faith. God is always in control of things no matter how much we mess
up with them. He allows evil to take place, since he respects our
freedom that can choose evil instead of the good. But he knows how to
turn the tables on evil.
In the gospel of Saturday of the fifth week of Lent (Jn
11,45-56), we are told that the high priest Caiaphas “prophesied that
Jesus should die for the nation. And not only for the nation, but to
gather together in one the children of God, that were dispersed.” In
other words, the high priest plotted evil against Christ unaware that
his move would be working for the good of the children of God.
This truth of our faith should always be vivid in our mind
and heart, especially when we find ourselves in difficult situations
or when we are going through some severe suffering and misfortune.
As St. Paul said in his Letter to the Romans, “all things
work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called
according to his purpose.” (8,28) The secret is always in having a
strong faith and a vibrant love for God. It’s an incredible truth of
faith, of course, but it does not fail!
In this regard, the Catechism of the Catholic Church has
this relevant point elucidated: “In time we can discover that God in
his almighty providence can bring a good from the consequences of an
evil, even a moral evil, caused by his creatures.
“’It was not you,’ said Joseph to his brothers, ‘who sent
me here, but God…You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good,
to bring it about that many people should be kept alive.’ (Gen 45,8;
“From the greatest moral evil ever committed—the rejection
and murder of God’s only Son, caused by the sins of all men—God, by
his grace that ‘abounded all the more,’ (cfr Rom 5,20) brought the
greatest of goods: the glorification of Christ and our redemption. But
for all that, evil never becomes good.” (CCC 312)
Yes, God is always in control of things. But we just have
to be ready to tackle whatever possibilities the use and misuse of our
freedom can cause or occasion. That is why in the Book of
Ecclesiastes, we are already warned about this.
“There a time for everything, and a season for every
activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a
time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to
laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…” (3,1-4)
We should just be sport about this condition of our life
here on earth. God is in control of everything even as he does not
exempt us from suffering the consequences of evil. As said earlier, he
allows evil to come due to his respect for our freedom, no matter how
badly we use it. He is never the cause, whether indirectly or much
less directly, of moral evil. But he allows it to happen for he can
derive a greater good from it.
“Where sin has abounded,” St. Paul said, “God’s grace has
abounded even more.” (Rom 5,20) This truth of our faith has given rise
to that reassuring proverb that “God writes straight with crooked
This truth of our faith should always be in our mind even
as we make use of all human means to resolve whatever issues,
problems, crises, etc., we may have. We always have to use our common
sense, our sciences and technologies, our culture, etc. to resolve our
problems. But we should never leave God behind.
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