the earthquake in ItalyThe recent Italian earthquake has shaken the entire Country. Many of us have experienced it first hand, albeit with different intensities depending where one lives. The first thought and our prayer is for all the victims' families. Secondly, we want to take part by sharing some biblical reflections, especially in response to the many doubts which have been raised regarding human suffering and the recurrent question, in similar events: "Where was He and where is God?". Let's dispel those stances right away as they would associate these disasters with God's rage. “The Creator of the universe, for God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Natural disasters, including earthquakes, are often mentioned in the Bible. The entire universe is subject to the laws which God has written and everything proceeds according to his will. But the Lord is Lord also of the laws and He can command sovereignly. Here is that the Lord sometimes spoke using the elements of nature to speak specifically to the people, to the prophets or his servants. But this is the exception not the rule; especially in the New Testament, governed by grace and not by law. God is certainly righteousness but Christ is the first grace for whomever believes and for those yet to come to Him; because even today and tomorrow and until the end of time, there is and shall be grace. This idea of a resentful God who "descends" among men, quarrels with and punishes them with an earthquake or another disaster, is not biblical. Our Lord Jesus Christ descended from heaven to serve, to save, to comfort and give peace: our law is charity, and this is the time of grace. Certainly we shall all appear in front of the judgment seat to defend our choices; but grace is expressed with freedom, patience, and our choice is just to love. All of use are subject to the "bad weather" of this world; even the prophets and holy men of God have suffered cold, diseases, persecutions ... many, such as John the Baptist, lost their head, but not the crown. The Word speaks to us of the brevity and fragility of life, where our every day is in His hands; God gives and God takes away. He can do anything and everything and can allow things to happen to the law-abiding and the wicked. Because He is God and is Holy, Right and Merciful. Whatever happens, we, His servants, are in His hands; if we remain standing, glory to God; if we fall, glory to God, we fall into his hands. Through faith we accept the omnipotence of God but also His full sovereignty knowing that Christ died for us because He loved us first. This is our Lord, this is the God that we have known, that we love and serve. "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. The whole earth is full of his glory!" (Isaiah 6:3). 

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