One of the most devastating affects on those in the Windrush generation was the prospect of being cut off. Cut off from everything they held dear. Cut off from home, family, country and employment all that we take for granted. Effectively they were being made stateless and set adrift!
Despite having lived in this country from infancy, some for 50 years and more the state turned its back on them; denying them health care, cancer treatment, pensions, passports and nationality. Some were served deportation notices given days to leave.
It’s a scandal that has deeply shocked and shamed the country and rightly brought our nation into disrepute. That any country could cut its citizens off in such a fashion is staggering that that country should be Britain is unbelievable.
In the gospel today Jesus talks of the need to be connected and not cut off. To have real and effective connections that sustains and supports us. “I’m the vine” he says “you are the branches. Apart from me you can do nothing.”
Jesus’ words in the Gospel suggest a profound and deep connection with him open to us, if we want it. A connection, which is life giving and life affirming, for connected to Christ we draw life from him. We draw goodness, love, compassion, kindness and courage from our unity with the Lord.
He is the one connection in this life we cannot do without.
But being connected to Christ means we also recognise that we are connected to each other. That as Christians we have a moral obligation be engaged in the common good of society, to promote social justice, inclusion, and engage in the political dialogue for a fairer and better society.
Catholic social teaching strongly reminds that we are not just individuals but part of a society connected and responsible for one another.
“I am the Vine” Jesus tells us “you are the branches.” Let us safeguard and cherish our communion with Christ and our unity with and care of each other.