Abandoned orphans of Romania
FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION
It is hard to forget the images of 1989 when the brutal reign of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu collapsed. But the pictures which stick in my mind most are those of the hundreds of children and babies in state orphanages.
Confined in metal cribs, the unwilling prisioners would often be left for weeks without ever being touched by a soul. Because of this lack of body contact, many of the children would become emotionless, rocking themselves to sleep in their soiled cribs. In some cases, babies simply died from lack of loving physical affection.
Before Jesus ascended into Heaven, He looked upon His children gathered on the mountain and said,
Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age. (Matthew 28:20)
Jesus would not leave us orphaned. But He, our creator, knew that we would still need to be touched by Him, lest we feel abandoned. And so, He left a way to remain with us physically: in the Eucharist. Didn’t Christ say,
For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. (John 6:55)
That is, it is truly our Lord whom we receive and adore, truly our Lord whom we taste, touch and see, albeit in the humble disguise of bread and wine.
Jesus is also invisibly present with us, dwelling in our hearts and wherever two or three are gathered. But how often have I needed to touch Him, to be near Him in the dwelling of the Tabernacle, even if only to touch the edge of the altar cloth… and the words would rise to my lips: I am not abandoned.
Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you. See, upon the palms of my hands I have written your name… (Isaiah 49:15)