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‘God is present,’ even amid great suffering

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The partial collapse of a high-rise condominium building in Surfside, Fla., recently “brings so much sadness,” yet is also an opportunity to respond with prayer and spreading the Catholic faith, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge said on his “Walk Humbly Podcast” July 7.

It’s only human to ask why such tragedies happen, he noted. However, because that question cannot be fully explained in human terms, he urged Catholics to instead ask “What happens in the midst of this?”

“We do know this. In the midst of that suffering, even in the midst of death itself, that God is present,” Bishop Burbidge said. “God assures us that whatever suffering, as great as it is, it will not be greater than the glory that awaits us. Death is not an end, but it leads to new life.”

He urged listeners to react to the disaster by clinging to their faith, sharing it with others and — most of all — praying for those most impacted by it.

“I’ve asked our pastors to do so, especially at Mass, and ask all of our listeners to continue to pray for the families who are experiencing such grief at this time,” he said.

According to ABC News, as of July 7, 46 people were confirmed dead and 94 others remained potentially unaccounted for since the collapse near Miami Beach early June 24. The remaining part of the building was demolished July 4.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021