Ask Fr. Jerry

With the war in Ukraine, our worsening economy in the United States, natural disasters seemingly increasing, and the rise in crime and gun violence, where is God? What is he doing to help people?

 The war in Ukraine has been tragic, so many innocent people killed and so many people driven out from their homes. With inflation increasing, the poor and middle class are struggling. News of death and violence in our city streets seems to be a daily occurrence. It appears that everything is going wrong, our world is floundering. It is easy for us to ask ourselves, “where is God in all of this?” But the reality is that good and bad have happened in the world for as long as humans have been on the earth. When the Israelites were finally freed from slavery in Egypt, they complained that they did not have enough food and enough water in the desert, but God provided. When the huge crowd of 5,000 came to hear Jesus speak, the disciples worried there would not be enough food to feed them, but Jesus provided. Scripture reminds us to place our hope and trust in the Lord.

Unfortunately, there are evil people in the world — people who have no respect for human life, people who indiscriminately kill innocent human beings, whether that be the war in Ukraine or the shootings that take place in Milwaukee. I honestly believe that Jesus and our Blessed Mother are weeping in heaven when they see the evil that we as human beings can inflict upon one another.

In our journey of life, we will always experience both good and bad, we will experience the ups and downs of life. The book Deuteronomy says, “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life that you and your descendants may live.” God gives us free will to choose how we will live our lives. If we choose life, if we remain faithful to God, God will provide for our needs.

We must place our trust in the Lord, even in the midst of war and disasters. We rely upon the help of our God in the midst of a difficult economy. Our God is a loving God, who cares for each of us. The biggest problem we as humans face is our own sinfulness. Because of sin, we get in our own way. Because of greed, our economy struggles to recover; because of hatred and anger, countries go to war. Maybe the question we should ask is not what God’s role is, but rather what our role is. How do we as a society work to live our values of love, peace, tolerance and justice?

The best answer I ever heard for “what is God doing to help people in need?” is the answer, “he created you and me.” God works through us and we must reach out to help those in need.