YOU SAY “THE WAY OF THE LORD IS UNFAIR”
Brothers and Sisters,
From when I was small, I was taught that life is never fair – at least by one definition. My brother got new clothes and sports equipment and I got his used ones; not fair, I would complain to my parents. There were different rules for bedtimes, hanging out with friends, and chores around the house; “how is that fair,” I would question. “It isn’t fair,” my dad would respond, making sure his words hung in the air with a monotone.
While it may be easy for some to laugh this off as childish complaints that need to be grown-out-of, this sentiment has become a widespread infection across the continent. This mawkishness is, however, entirely foreign to a Christian cognizance; the Holy Faith has never suggested or believed that life should be fair or that something is wrong when things are “unfair.”
Take the first reading for Mass today as a case study for this phenomenon. God demands one thing, Eve and Adam do the opposite, the Almighty punishes both humanity and snake alike for said transgression. Even further, all humanity to follow Adam and Eve share in the fallout from their individual sin – we suffer the consequences for the sin of Adam. In the millennia and epochs of reading Sacred Scripture that followed, this has been perfectly straightforward. Yet in modern times, this is – for the first time in the history of Biblical studies – being seen as unjust (Romans 6:23).
This, however, is the immensely vital element to Christianity that (like all morality of the Holy Faith) is relevant to all humanity: what we do matters and it impacts others. Concrete example: I have wonderful parents who were very responsible in raising a family, responsible with money, and making sure that I was taught to be both healthy and productive. I had many classmates in my school-years who did not have such parents: some with parents who were alcoholics, addicts, disinterested, or even absentee. This is not fair, surely; I had advantages that others did not.
So also our faith and our virtue has more than a concrete impact. Not only does our practice of the Faith have a practical impact, it also has an unseen impact – we add grace into the world by our sacrifices. We also both practically and spiritually hurt others by complaints of unfairness, acts of immorality, or not building up the Holy Faith. Applied example: when the Faith is not made-a-big-deal-of at home, be ye not surprised then when the children do not carry on the Faith after leaving the nest.
Our job, our task is indeed unfair – it is more difficult for us to be holy than previous generations. Do not bemoan the unfairness, rise rather to the challenge.
God be near,