The sixth sorrow of Saint Joseph is when he heard from an Angel through a dream – Leave Egypt. Return your family back to your country. In Egypt, they were foreigners. In Egypt, they were regarded as “others”. They did not belong. They were different. They were of a different race. They were others.
Let us be careful in giving such labels to one another. Because the Lord told us that there are three very special people that we must care for because they are our pathways to heaven. The orphans. The widows. And the strangers.
The orphans. The widows. And the strangers. Why should be be careful? Because all of us are orphans and we were adopted by the Lord. All of us don’t have families; we were embraced by the Lord. All of us are strangers, once-upon-a-time. All of us are strangers, once-upon-a-time and then the Lord adopted us and gave us citizenship – the citizenship of heaven. When we were little children, our elders taught us when there is a beggar asking for alms and you have nothing to give, one must say to the beggar – “Patatawarin po.” (Please for forgive me.)
We ask forgiveness from the beggar because we have nothing to give. Do not raise your voice at them. Do not drive they away. Do not hurt their feelings because the poor, the down-trodden are our Lords. And, as we adore the Lord in the Blessed Eucharist, it is time to adore the Lord in the poor because the poor, the widows, the strangers, the orphans – they are our masters. If we are looking for the path that leads to Heaven, they are truly the way. My question, dear brothers and sisters, is – Who is the Egypt of our life? I asked who and not where.
This means – Who are the small people? the underprivileged? The strangers? We ignore them and we don’t accept them. Let us remember the words of our Lord, come the day of judgement – feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty and welcoming the strangers – those are the measures by which we shall gain entry to the kingdom of God. But what is striking about this, my dear brothers and sisters, is those who fed and gave drink to the thirsty and welcomed the strangers did not know. Those who did not fed, did not give drink, did not welcome strangers did not know. This means, it is rather easy for us to not recognize or become blind to them. But there shall be no excuses because when the day of judgement comes, there are three people who shall bring us to the gates of heaven. The orphans, the widows and the strangers. Many are homeless. Many have been driven away. Many are orphans. Many are crying and in despair. They cannot be far away from us because they live in the heart of God. And if we are searching for the heart of God, let us search for them and in them, we shall find our Lord.
Saint Joseph teaches us that the orphans, the widows and the strangers are the treasures of the Church.