Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Is It Fair?

My post from yesterday on receiving the gift of faith from our parents (or not) has me thinking about what is fair and how it all works out in the end...

Is it fair that one person owns 3 homes and another lives in a mission because they can't afford rent?  Is it fair that one woman has a healthy baby and another has a special needs child and another never able to conceive at all?  Is it fair that one child lives with two parents who love and dote on him and another lives with his grandparents because his parents are in rehab or jail?  Is it fair that one family eats an extravagant dinner while another serves them and cleans their dishes?  Is it fair that a 6-year-old can play Mozart on the piano when another can't squeak out a note on the oboe when he's a senior?  Is it fair that one couple zips around the lake on their new boat while another fishes from the bank hoping to catch their supper?  Is it fair that a boy is a naturally gifted football player and his brother can't bring him water without falling down?  Is it fair that some people have travelled all over the world and some have never been out of their home town?  Is it fair that one person receives the gift of faith from their parents and another has to spend their whole life in search of it?  Is it fair that Jesus Christ never sinned, yet He suffered and died for sin?  Is it fair that we get to use His sacrifice to get to Heaven?

According to The American Heritage Dictionary, the definition that is most appropriate to our discussion states "just to all parties, equitable".  Equitable?  "Marked by or having equity; just or impartial".  Just?  "Consistent with what is morally right".

Is anything in life fair?!  I think the world would reply loudly, with great emotion, and in unison, "No, life is definitely not fair!"

If God is merciful and just, how can this be?!! 

Let us consider what He tells us in Isaiah 55:8-11.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.  As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.  For just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to him who sows and bread to him who eats, So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it."

God's word, and consequently everything that He wills or permits, will not return to Him void.  He has said so.  What is fair is that He gives us everything we need to achieve salvation (seed to the sower and bread to him who eats). What is fair is that all discrepancies and injustices will achieve the end for which He sent them.  Our salvation.

St. Teresa of Avila has something to say about getting stuck in this quagmire of unfairness.  "You should run a thousand miles from such expressions as: 'I was right.  They had no reason to do this to me.  The one who did this to me was wrong.'  God, deliver us from this poor way of reasoning.  Does it seem to be right that our good Jesus suffered so many insults and was made to undergo such injustice?"

Lord, please give us the grace to believe in Your justice and mercy.  We cannot do this without your help.  Help us keep our eyes on Heaven and not too much time looking around here on earth.  This is not our destination.  Thank you for preparing a place for us.  A place where we will be grateful for everything in our earthly lives because it brought us to You.  Amen.

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