Tuesday 6 February 2024

Does God Care?




Homily by Fr Francis

Mk. 1:40-45

When people see our world lurching from one disaster to another and when some people suffer crisis after crisis a question they ask is, “Does God care about our world and does He care for me?”

This, I think, was the question dogging the man in our Gospel story.  He was a victim of leprosy.  That meant two things:  one he lived as a social outcast, and two, he would die a slow gruesome death.  Then one day he met Jesus.  He must have heard about Him.  It is interesting the way He approached Jesus. He said, “If You want to, You can cure me.”  He believed that Jesus could cure him, but he didn’t know whether He would.  You could say that many people think along those lines.  They believe in a God of power, a God who controls the universe, but they wonder if He cares enough to notice the plight they are sometimes in and if He cares for them as individuals.

I can understand where people are coming from when they say it is hard to believe in a God who cares.  There are lots of things that happen to indicate this.  Natural disasters can claim the lives of thousands.  We live in a world that is filled with disease, poverty, war, hurt, hatred and heartaches of every conceivable kind.  If we were polytheists, believing in many gods, then we could attribute the good to particular gods and the bad to other ones.  When, however, we accept the Christian concept of one God, all-powerful, Creator and Sustainer of the universe, then we begin to wonder if He cares.  How can He allow dreadful things to happen to our world and us?  Either we may stop believing in the goodness of God, or, lose faith in our own self-worth, believing we don’t matter.  For some people it is not easy to keep believing in God Who cares.

Let’s go back to our leper.  The story tells us that Jesus felt sorry for the man and healed him.  Of course, not all of life’s tragedies have this same kind of happy ending.  Sometimes don’t we wish they did?  It is easy to believe that Jesus cared about this leper because He healed him.  What about the many other lepers in His day He did not cure?  Are we to conclude that He did not care for them?

Deep down we know He does care.  To argue that the presence of evil and suffering is automatic positive proof that there is no God, or at least no God who cares, is rather a simplistic attitude towards life.  How do we explain the fact that what we call tragedy often plays a positive role in people’s lives?  When we complain about the difficult and painful elements of life, what are we asking for?  Is it a world that is all ease and pleasure – is that what we want?

There are times when we would welcome that.  We get fed up with trouble and our problems.  We want them to go away and never return.  Yet, if we were offered streets paved with gold, money growing on trees, a life of ease and idleness I don’t think that would satisfy us.  We could take that life for a short time, but we would soon get fed up with it.  We are made to face and overcome challenges.  If there are no questions that need answering, no problems to solve, no challenges to meet, nothing hard to undertake or difficult to do, I think many of us would very soon be sick of that kind of world.  Everything most worthwhile in our lives has come out of a background of struggle against obstacles.  We groan and complain under the frustrations and injustices of living, but we know that life on a silver platter with easy solutions to all our problems would really not be life at all.  It is these very hardships faced with determination that form our character and make men and women of us.  In human life parents know that growing up is not easy, but when their children face up to the obstacles of life and deal with them successfully, they are truly proud of them and know they have brought them up well.

Perhaps we need to take a new look at our understanding of God. There was more than one leper in Palestine.  If Christ could heal one, why didn’t He heal them all?  The answer to that question lies in our understanding of God.  To believe that God is all powerful does not necessarily mean that He will manipulate things and people as He pleases.  He cannot do with us what He wants to do if we stubbornly resist Him.  He has to take into account the element of free will He has given us, and He respects that.  When we see how involved He is with our pain and our troubles by sending His Son to suffer and die for us, then we see that He is not removed from us and that He deeply cares. 

Lord Jesus, the answer to suffering in our world and in our lives is to be found in Your suffering and death.  If we can understand why You got involved in our world and in our lives then I think it will help us to understand the mystery of suffering and believe in a God who really cares.



  1. ...life is a complex activity.

  2. What a fantastic sermon, Victor. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Powerful message, indeed! I'm going over to check out Fr. Francis' books now.

    1. I hope you enjoy Fr Francis' books, Mevely. His daily sermons are also on his website (right of the screen) here:


      God bless.

  4. Hi Victor, yes God does really care for us. That is why He sent His precious Son to become a sacrifice for us so that we have eternal life through believing in our Saviour. Our time in this world is short lived, and what awaits for us as a result of what Jesus did is far beyond what we have while we are here. The main thing for us to learn in this world is to learn and know God's ways through the teaching of the Holy Spirit when we become a believer. God bless.



God bless you.