Thursday, March 13, 2014

Sermon Notes: The Widow and the Orphan as Signs of God's Love

Reflection For 6:30am Mass
St. Vincent de Paul Parish
Thurs. Week I of Lent
March 13, 2014

And now, come to help me, an orphan” (Esther 14:3)

The Question: Why does God favor the orphan and widow so much? Could it be the difficult if not impossible social, economical, and psychological sufferings they will and do endure? Maybe, but are there not others such as the leper, the dumb, the blind, etc…who might fit this same bill? Why the orphan and the widow?

Scripture:Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world” (James 1:27).

These are great exhortations, but God even identifies Himself by His relationship to the widow and the orphan: Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation” (Psalm 68:5).

The Orphan: God favors the orphan because it is symbolic of His love for us. As Jesus says in John’s gospel: “I will not leave you orphan” (John 14:17). We are an adopted people; we have received through Christ Jesus the “spirit of adoption” allowing us to cry out “Abba” Father (Cf. Romans 8:15). Thus we were an orphaned people, but not by God’s choice, rather by our own in the fall.

The Widow: God favors the widow because in them He sees His own mother Mary, herself a widow. Jesus is a momma’s boy and always has a soft spot for anyone who associates with His mother.

Contemplating Sacramental Signs of Love: God calls us to love in such a way that we grow in understanding of our relationship to Him. Thus He calls us to love those who symbolize the deeper reality of God’s love for us. Jesus uses this logic today when He says, Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asked for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asked for a fish?” The same happens everyday in our own families. Contemplate your relationships with those you love: your spouses, your children, etc… These relationships of love are deep symbols, indeed sacramental signs of God’s love for you.   

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