"I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you." Jn 14:18
More than once, I have heard people whose parents had recently died say that they felt like orphans. Not until my mother died did I understand what they meant. There is a kind of hole in life when one's parents die. More than a feeling of loss, there is a sense of emptiness. The people upon whom we depended, not to make decisions for us, but to help us discern important steps in life, were no longer with us and we wondered where and to whom we might go.
Jesus, though preparing us for his return to his Father, promises us that we will not be orphans, that we will not be alone, that His Spirit will continue to guide and help us. At the time of Jesus, family was the primary lens through which people understood their role in life, but Jesus wanted his followers to remember that he was redefining their understanding of family. No longer would we be bound only to the rituals and practices of the families and religious traditions into which we were born, but animated by Jesus' Spirit, to the family and body of Christ, making it impossible to be orphans!
Today, pray for those who feel totally without family of any kind.
Have you ever felt like an orphan in the church?