This morning I told my son, Sam, that I am feeling sad because this is my first Christmas as an orphan.
Sam told me that he understood my sadness, but then suggested that I really am not an orphan. He reminded me that, while I may not have my parents anymore, I have an entire family that loves me very much.
I realize that he is right. The word orphan stirs up images of loneliness and desolation. My life is far from desolate; it is full of love and joy. His words allowed the light of love to shine in my heart.
In the midst of grieving the death of my father, I can let the light of love from my children and my siblings and my friends shine on me and in me. I can let them remind me that Jesus said that he would not leave us orphans. He comes to us in the Eucharist. He comes to us in the Word. He comes to us in each other.
I am not alone. None of us is alone, if we cling to each other and if we cling to God.
I am not an orphan. Christ is coming. Love is here.