Digital orphans " ... and your neighbor as yourself"


Dear Parishioners & Visitors,

Many of us might be familiar ·with the expression "digital orphan." There are several understandings of this expression. One of them refers to children whose parents allow them to use their electronic devices and internet without any supervision. These children are considered "digital orphans" also because the electronic device becomes the main mean to establish human relationships and parents are somehow absent from their children. It is this lack of relationship with their parents that makes the children orphans. They live with their parents but there is no relationship or the relationship is really poor.

In today's first reading from the book of Exodus, the Lord is calling his people to live in right relationship with the alien, the orphan, the widow, and those in need of the basics of life: water, food, shelter and clothing. The Lord warns his people not to ignore, to oppress or to abuse those who are vulnerable. The Lord himself hears their cry!

Establishing right relationships is key in our Catholic faith. It is in community that salvation takes place. It is in our relationships where the greatest commandment to
"Love the Lord your God, ... and your neighbor as yourself" takes place in a very real
way. The most concrete actions of love are those we do when we care for someone. Actions of care that will offer new possibilities of life.

The word invites us to pause for a moment and take a look at our relationships. Are they rooted in care for the other? Who is the alien around my life? Maybe it is one of my coworkers who has been mistreated because her culture is different from mine. Who is the widow or the widower? Maybe my grandparents living in loneliness because they cannot go out as they used to. Who is the orphan? Maybe the adult children who have not spoken to their parents for a long time because they were upset with each other. Is there something I could do to help them enter a place of right relationship to enjoy the gift of Christ?

-fr. Jorge Rátiva, O.P.