May the Fourth Be with You – Revenge of the Fifth

May 4th and 5th have special significance for Star Wars fans because of the pun on the famous line, “May the force be with you,” and the pun on the episode entitled, “Revenge of the Sith.”

As a reminder, the force is utilized by the Jedi and the Sith for different purposes: the Jedi utilize this ubiquitous galactic energy for keeping order and peace, while the Sith attempt to harness its power for selfish gain.

What is important for this meditation is the following: the force, for all intents and purposes, is a neutral power, an impersonal energy, that is neither good nor bad, but used in whatever way those sensitive enough to manipulate it choose. Therefore, it has a relative quality and its “goodness” or “badness” is a matter of perspective.

What I would like for us to focus on today is that the God that we adore and worship is not some abstract energy but a Personal Being – a Trinity of Persons – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a communion of eternal love.

Furthermore, while the force is neutral and able to be manipulated in this way or that, the One true God is absolutely good and goodness itself. As St. John write in his first epistle,

“God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:15).

Contrast this with the Eastern religio-philosophical systems that do not believe in any personal God as supreme, or in any absolute good, but rather, some sort of dualism – such as the yin and yang – where there is some good in the evil, and some evil in the good, in coexistence from forever.

Dualism – that evil coexists alongside the good – has no place in our faith. God is absolute goodness and is not responsible for evil and sin. Only the misuse of free will – whether by the angels or by men – has brought about evil. In fact, St. Basil the Great, in a treatise he wrote entitled That God Is Not the Author of Evil said that to deny God’s goodness is tantamount to denying God’s very existence.

The Good is something absolute, because God in His very Essence is good, and this is why we can speak of absolute good and evil. These are not relativistic terms subject to change and the whims of society, or even our personal opinion. Our God is the “One Who is Good” (Matthew 19:17) and the One from Whom “every good and perfect gift comes down, the Father of lights, Who does not change” (James 1:17).

Let us always remember that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8) – He does not change – and that we must “give thanks to the Lord, for He is good” (Psalm 106:1).