In her Magnificat, Mary rejoices in God’s mercy that reaches “from generation to generation.” Pandemic related isolation has caused us to miss that wide human contact with family and friends. Scientific explanations and social and technological support help, but we remain lonely and stressed.

If as adults we find the long and ongoing but temporary separation difficult, consider the devastating impact of policies that cause family separation. We learned last week that government agencies have been unable to locate parents of over 500 children detained at the borders. Having been deported, some parents went into hiding to avoid the danger they initially fled; geographic and language barriers make it difficult to locate other parents. Most of the children have been placed in foster care or in the custody of relatives; however psychologists state that the trauma of prolonged separation at such a young age will have result long lasting results.

As we move move into November when we remember the graced connections of all the living and the dead, we might pray for these young strangers who, in Christ, are also our neighbors.