It is interesting that the stories we have grown up with and we still use to teach our children all have a happy ending. Perhaps we simply like it when they have the end we all expect: “and they lived happily ever after”. Or perhaps we are trying to pass on to the future generation a hope that we all hold. But all too often we see innocent people suffering the consequences of human evil, greed and selfishness and they never see justice done. So, are happy-ending stories only a human fabrication? A form of alienation? Is there a well-founded hope that things will end up well, at least for the person who seeks to do good? And, even if justice is done and things are put right at the end of their lives, will that ever be enough to compensate for years of suffering? In the first reading of this Sunday (Wis 2:12, 17-20), we hear a group of wicked and ungodly people plotting against the virtuous, whom they plan to put through a “shameful death”. The virtuous for their part have nothing to fear because they know that no human action escapes God’s sight and that He will do justice sooner or later. Psalm 56:8 says: “You yourself have counted up all my sorrows, collect my tears in your bottle. Are they not all written in your book?” This image of God collecting our tears has inspired Christian artist from very early times and some have represented it in their icons of the Last Judgement. There, near the book of the Gospels and the signs of Jesus’ passion, there is a little bottle with the tears of all righteous and just people who have suffered in their lives. None of those tears have been shed in vain. When Christ comes again He will wipe all their tears and they will have a blessed life for eternity (Ap7:17; 21,4).
Fr Daniel Herrero Peña