My Beloved the benevolent, Grace and peace from the Lord of peace wishing you every goodness and blessing
We discussed in last month’s letter the difficulties that face those who love to do good deeds through the example of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostles. Our Lord Jesus Christ went about doing good, but it was never met with thankfulness and appreciation by the people, instead many resisted the good deeds and accused Christ with false accusations. We mentioned examples like the demon possessed, blind and mute and how the Pharisees said that by Beelzebub, the ruler of demons, He casts out demons. When Christ healed the man with the withered right hand, the woman who had an infirmity for eighteen years and the born blind they accused Him of not keeping the Sabbath because He did a good deed on a Sabbath. We also discussed how Christ raised Lazarus from the dead after being buried for four days and as a result of this great miracle many of the Jews believed in Christ, but the Chief Priests and scribes plotted to kill Christ and Lazarus as well. Then we discussed how the Chief Priests and the Sadducees arrested St. Peter and St. John because they healed a man who was lame since birth. And we asked why do good deeds meet resistance? And why do the doers of good deeds endure suffering for the good that they do?
- Those who don’t like to do good:Not everyone likes to do good deeds, evil people hate goodness so they resist good works and persecute those who do good. Goodness uncovers evil and those who like evil oppress the benevolent. The Chief Priests and the Pharisees did not like to do good but their life was an evil life filled with hypocrisy and Our Lord Jesus Christ revealed the evil in their life in the Woes mentioned in the Book of Matthew chapter 23. That’s why they resisted Christ and did not rejoice in the good works, but plotted against Him. After the miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead, they did not rejoice in the resurrection of a man having been dead for four days. They did not rejoice in Mary and Martha’s joy and the joy of their friends who came to comfort them and witnessed this great miracle. They did not rejoice in the fact that this miracle led many to believe in Christ because they witnessed God’s work in raising the dead. All this goodness did not bring joy to their hearts, so what did they care about? The gospel of St. John says, “Then the Chief Priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said what shall we do? For this Man works many signs. If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.” (Jn. 11:47-48) Their concern was for themselves and their positions. They did not realize the importance of believing in Christ and did not understand Christ’s words to them on the meaning of real freedom when He said, “Most assuredly I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” (Jn.8:34-36) When sin controls a person, it blinds his eyes and mutes his ears from seeing and hearing the truth, though the Chief Priests and the Pharisees resisted the good deeds that Christ was doing, likewise in every age evil resists good deeds. The miser who loves money refuses the idea of giving and mocks those who give of their own money to serve the needy. The materialistic, selfish person does not care about the needs of others and believes that when he gives others, it encourages them to be lazy. This type of person cares only for his own comfort and thinks that he is entitled to enjoy his own money without feeling any joy in helping others. They don’t like goodness but resist those who do good because doing good requires purity of heart and reputation.
- The wrong understanding of the commandments: The Pharisees resisted Christ’s good deeds on the Sabbath during the miracles of the healing of the man with the withered hand, the woman with the infirmity, the born blind and others. The Pharisees thought that the commandment of keeping the Sabbath was not to do anything, and healing a person on the Sabbath was breaking that commandment. Christ gave special attention to explaining the true meaning of the Sabbath commandment. The word Sabbath means rest and doing good deeds gives rest to the needy like the woman with the infirmity and the man with the withered hand, this is why our Lord Christ said, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” And when Christ was asked if it is lawful to heal on the Sabbath, he assured them, in Matt.12:12, that it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.
May God Bless your good deeds and keep those who resist it away from you and reward you with the heavenly rewards for supporting St. Verena charity.