Today's Widows and Orphans and What to DoIn the Scriptural readings for this Sunday in the Catholic calendar, there is a great discussion about the law. However, rather than comment on the obvious admonitions presented in the gospel, I would draw your attention to the second reading taken from the Letter of St. James (1:17-18, 21b-22, 27).
James reminds us that all good things come from God. He calls us to welcome the Word of God and be "doers" of the Word and not hearers only.
Then he explains what "religion," that oft times picked on word, truly is in the eyes of God.
To care for orphans and widows in their affliction
to keep oneself unstained by the world.
Now I do not intend to go into a discussion on the origins of the word "religion." There is an interesting commentary on the subject one may find here. For my purpose in writing is to focus on the point and purpose of living out ones religion, that is our concern for our neighbor and specifically identified in the widow and the orphan.
God calls us to love him with our whole heart, our whole mind and our whole soul. Christ explained that this was the first and greatest commandment. He then explained that the second is to love our neighbor. James reminds us that religion "that is pure and undefiled" before God is caring for the widow and orphan.
So who are today"s widows and orphans?
Who are the women and children abandoned by the men in their lives?
Who are the women and children being told their relationship is of no consequence?
The unwed mother and her unborn child.
For the last 42 plus years, our society has told women that their relationship to their child is only important if someone says so. For the last 42 plus years, the culture has thrown women "under the bus" and told them to handle the "complications" that happen after intimacy. Fro the last 42 years women have been told they have a right to "choose" but are never reminded that the "choice" means death to their child and death or damage to their own soul.
And we as a society are obsessed by our smartphones, the latest fads, the most recent scandal..
So what to we as believers do?
How do we practically help the modern day widow and orphan?
Here are so very practical things one can do NOW.
1. Join your local pro-life or right to life group.
2. Once you join, offer to help.
3. Learn the arguments that support and explain why the law should protect unborn children. These will be based upon biology (science) and logic. Natural reason compliments Divine revelation (the gospel). however using religious arguments will not impress skeptics and non-believers. Stick with science and reason,.
4. Help out at your local pregnancy resource center.
5. Participate in pro-life protests, demonstrations, pickets.
6. Know where the candidates stand on the issue and ONLY support pro-life candidates. If they cannot pass over your threshold of being pro-life, then you do not even consider them. once they pass the threshold, then you should examine everything else, i.e. elect-ability, etc.
7. Donate. These organizations cost money to operate. Find a few that are being good stewards and supports them.
8. Contact your legislator and thank them if they are pro-life and if they are not....explain what they should be..
9. Ask your minister, priest or religious leader to preach on the subject.
10. Learn about post abortion groups and organizations that offer help and healing to women, men and others who have been affected by abortion. Pass the word. support their efforts.
11. Talk about current events such as the planned parenthood scandal use such events as teaching moments to promote the Gospel of Life.
12. PRAY ALWAYS. There is a phrase "Ora et Labora." Pray and work. We need to be in union with the Lord's will and give our best efforts.
These are practical ways to help the widow and orphan.
Now let us begin (or continue as the case may be).