Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Caring for the Widows and Orphans

Over and over, from Deuteronomy via Isaiah and the Psalms to the first epistle of St James, the Bible singles out one group above all others - widows and orphans - for priority treatment. Making sure they are provided for is of the very essence of religion, St James declares. But what do they mean by widows and orphans? Centuries of interpretation of these Scriptural passages have broadened the category to include all who, like widows and orphans, are facing hardship through loss - loss of a breadwinner in the traditional sense, or loss of a job through unemployment, sickness or disability.

Clifford Longley on Thought for the Day.

In our present time, the people being left behind by this creeping return of economic optimism are those who lost their jobs, or who recently left school or college, and haven't been able to find work since.

They are the modern poor, the modern widows and orphans of our time. The International Monetary Fund tells us their number is still well below its peak. But far from being our number one priority as the Bible says, they are in danger of being forgotten.

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