I will not leave you orphaned
When have I felt orphaned? At the death of a parent? Or a sibling? When we sit in deep sadness with a child who has lost a parent or a family who has lost a child? Powerless we feel - our gift of compassion is all we can offer… what a gift we share!
“I will not leave you orphaned.” How do these words touch the hearts of families in dire poverty who trust their child to a kind man who offers to bring her to the “land of plenty” for education and a job, only to sell their daughter into the sex trade industry? How do Jesus’ words impact the lives of immigrant families when parents leave children behind, or children leave parents behind to make a better life for the whole family? Or when they are separated or imprisoned or deported for years caught in the maze of a tragic and broken immigration systems, or in worldwide refugee camps? Jesus calls us to compassion, and to work for justice!
“I will not leave you orphaned.” Do I feel this way when my best friend no longer seems to understand me? When I lose my spouse and need to raise my children all alone? When those I trusted in my Church community turn on me in judgment or blame? Mother Mary Veronica must have felt orphaned when her little brother died… when her parents abandoned her because she became Catholic and started our Divine Compassion mission. Monsignor Thomas Preston must have felt orphaned when bishops and fellow clergy turned on him as he made touch decisions in leadership for the Archdiocese of New York.
Where did they turn? To each other and to God - who they both knew deeply and personally as Divine Compassion in their lives. When the early Divine Compassion mission and community struggled for survival and sustainability, Mother Mary Veronica and Monsignor Preston trusted in God’s promise of fidelity. “Throw yourself into the arms of the Divine Compassion and strength and grace will be given to overcome all. Think deeply and you will find the answer in your heart. O my dear children, be brave! Be sincere! Be courageous!”
Jesus words “I will not leave you orphaned”… because I live, you also will live… On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me and I in you.” How can I deepen my awareness that God, Jesus, Divine Compassion - are deep in my heart and soul, as gift to the world and gift to each other?
As we await the gifts of Pentecost, God also promises the “Spirit of Truth… You know him, because he abides with you and will be in you.” How is the Spirit of truth … leading and inviting us forward like the early Christians as a community of faith, to continue to gift the world with Divine Compassion in and for the 21st century?