Natural disasters may not seem like a social justice issue, but disasters always affect the poor the most. They live in the areas most vulnerable to devastation, in homes least built to withstand destruction. They are least likely to have the resources for medical care and rebuilding in wake of a disaster.
I was recently contacted by a student from West Liberty, Kentucky, one of the towns most severely impacted by the tornadoes last Friday, seeking help with fundraising to rebuild the small town and help the injured and the families of those killed. This is a scene from West Liberty after the tornado:
When confronted with human suffering, we can offer no justification, only comfort and support. Jesus carrying his cross is an image of acceptance, even serenity, in the midst of calamity. He shows us how to aid the suffering, by doing and giving as we can, and sometimes, by just being present.
Let us pray:
We adore you, Lord Jesus, and we praise you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Glory Be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
(Please keep West Liberty, Kentucky in your thoughts and prayers this week.)