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Sunday, December 5, 2010


It is God himself who can place a definitive limit upon evil. He is the essence of justice, because it is he who rewards good and punishes evil in a manner perfectly befitting the objective situation. I am speaking here of moral evil, of sin. In the Garden of Eden, human history already encounters the God who judges and punishes. The Book of Genesis describes in detail the penalty imposed on our first parents after their sin (see Gn 3:14-19). And their penalty has been prolonged throughout human history. Original sin is an inherited condition. As such, it signifies the innate sinfulness of man, his radical inclination toward evil instead of good. There is is mana congenital moral weakness which goes hand in hand with the fragility of his being, with his psycho-physical fragility. And of his fragility is accompanied by the multiple sufferings indicated in the Bible, from the very first pages, as punishment for sin. It could be said that human history is marked from the very beginning by the limit God the Creator places upon evil....God himself came to save us and to deliver us from evil, and this coming of God, this "Advent" which we celebrate in such a joyful way the weeks preceding the Nativity of the Lord, is truly redemptive. It is impossible to think of the limit placed by God himself up the various forms of evil without reference to the mystery of Redemption. Could the mystery of Redemption be the response to that historical evil which, in different forms, continually recurs in human affairs? It can seem that the evil of concentration camps, of gas chambers, of police cruelty, of total war, and of oppressive regimes - evil which among other things, systematically contradicts the message of the cross - it can seem, I say, that such evil is more powerful than any good. Yet if we look more closely at the history of those peoples and nations who have endured the trial of totalitarian systems and persecutions on account of faith, we discover that is is precisely where the victorious presence of Christ's cross is most clearly revealed. Against such a dramatic background, that presence may be even more striking. To those who are subjected to systematic evil, there remains only Christ and his cross as a source of spiritual self-defense, as a promise of victory.

Venerable John Paul II
(t 2005) reigned from 1978 until 2005
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