When Things Fall Apart

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The Lord God speaks—who will not prophesy? How does God’s Word translate to our time, when it feels as though everything is falling apart?  

Coastal cities with moderate climate and severe wealth maldistribution are flooded with homeless people because too many ordinary citizens are one paycheck away from being on the streets. Other people are homeless because they are struggling with an addiction to fentanyl or its analogues.  

Mass shootings (four or more people are shot or killed) occur with such frequency that no one pays much attention to them anymore. The reporting gets lost in the noise of other, “more important” news. Certainly, there are no simple solutions, but really, how many people have to die?  

Families continue to migrate from many places around the world including Guatemala, Mexico, El Salvador, and Honduras to the United States in unprecedented numbers because the living conditions in many parts of these counties are so desperate that there is no future for families there.  

Coastal cities are battered by severe winds and the rainfall from “atmospheric rivers.” Lower lying land often experiences flooding because of rising sea levels. The sea water is relentless.  

This list could go on. We sense that these events occur and are part of a larger pattern of things falling apart. This is what the prophet Amos saw when he looked to the northern kingdom in the eighth century BCE. This is what we see, and God’s Word is present in these events, these situations. What prophetic word will we speak? What prayer will we make? What action will we take?  

Fr. John Klassen  

© Liturgical Press.

John Klassen, OSB

John Klassen, OSB, is a monk of Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota.

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