As Catholics, we belong to a large, united family with over 1.3 billion followers worldwide. We take pride in our faith, which is guided not only by the Bible but also by the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC). This book covers important aspects of worship, following Jesus, and prayer. It shows the depth and richness of our beliefs. But beyond our rituals and knowledge, let’s reflect on what truly matters in our religion.

In Luke 7:11-17, “Jesus Raises the Widow’s Son at Nain. Soon afterwards, he went to a city called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. As he drew near the gate of the city, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a large crowd from the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” And he came and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” And the dead man sat up and began to speak. And he gave him to his mother. Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” And this report concerning him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.”

James 1:27 “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.”

Psalm 68:5: “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.”

The term “widow” in Greek means being “left alone” or experiencing great loss. I personally witnessed the devastating loss of a close friend’s sister. Her husband passed away suddenly at a young age, leaving her with four children to raise alone. This heartbreaking event made me question my own faith and led me on a journey of discovering God’s love and purpose.

In John 19:26-27 “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own home.”

In Matthew 23, Jesus condemned the mistreatment of widows by the prophets, emphasizing our responsibility to treat them with kindness and compassion.

As followers of Christ, we are called to imitate God and focus on what truly matters. It’s not about grand gestures or seeking attention. While our rituals and knowledge are important, the core of our faith lies in caring for those who have experienced loss and vulnerability, reflecting God’s love and compassion. This should be central in our lives. Therefore, pause for a minute. Am I on God’s agenda? Let’s take time this week to reach out and support those who are lonely or in need, especially widows and orphans.

Written by: Kit Lee