"If God is for us, who can be against"
For some, this refrain from an old St. Louis Jesuit’s song conjures up the image of flower-children-Christians, singing bouncily with joyful naiveté (blissfully unaware of their bitter and cynical future).
Today’s first reading (Romans 8:31b-39) begins with the same first line, but the whole of the passage is not so cheery.
We are being slain all the day;
we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered.
Yet St. Paul’s confidence in God’s providential care is no less great than that of the stereotypical “happy music” people.
Indeed, his faith is much stronger and much deeper, never to be conquered or to give way to bitterness and cynicism, for he has experienced the very worst this world has to offer and yet has always felt God’s abiding love.
As we endure the ups and downs of our own lives, may the Lord give us that same grace, no matter how bad things may ever be, and may we then say with confidence and inner joy:
No, in all these things
we conquer overwhelmingly
through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities,
nor present things, nor future things,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth,
nor any other creature will be able to separate us
from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.