At this time of the year, most of us are living hurried lives which distract us from the message of Advent.
These two nuns gave everything to protect the vulnerable and despised. When the world was going crazy with hate and war they hid, fed, and taught Jews. They were eventually caught, imprisoned and killed for this ministry.
Some may complain that they did not do it altruistically, that they were proselytizing or robbing those in their care of their heritage - but to me that is cynicism. One does not risk one's life for others unless one sees them as human and as worth preserving, as friends (cf. John 15:13) - even at the cost of one's life. One does not falsify records or risk imprisonment because one thinks that they are winning converts. Even if all methods or results are optimal, it is the recognition, born from Christ's message that all are God's children, that Christ is in everyone - especially the least of our brothers and sisters.
What are we willing to stand up for and against - not with loud words, gestures, and righteous indignation but with the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy? Christ came so that we might have life and have it to the fullest (cf. John 15:9-17); we must share that coming!
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
-- Matthew 25:31-40