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Raising of the widow’s son

Gospel Reading: Lk 7:11-17
Jesus journeyed to a city called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him. As he drew near to the gate of the city, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. A large crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, he was moved with pity for her and said to her, “Do not weep.” He stepped forward and touched the coffin; at this the bearers halted, and he said, “Young man, I tell you, arise!” The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, exclaiming, “A great prophet has arisen in our midst,” and “God has visited his people.” This report about him spread through the whole of Judea and in all the surrounding region.

Moved with pity
Luke’s gospel shows special interest in foreigners, the poor, and women. The story above, unique to Luke, complements the preceding healing miracle for the slave of the centurion, a foreigner in Galilee. Jesus here brings back to life the only son of a Jewish widow.

Both miracles attest to Luke’s presentation of Jesus as the Savior of all. No one is excluded from the salvation he offers – neither people regarded as sinners and lost nor widows and orphans considered helpless and defenseless.

Jesus is sensitive to the needs of people. While he looks for faith, it is the widow’s helplessness that draws his gracious compassion. No one has to ask him; he intervenes to give the young man back to his mother. His actions – eating with sinners, feeding thousands, healing the sick, bringing the dead back to life – are signs of what he can do for all people: save them from sin and give them new life and total liberation.

“Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy.

These words might well sum up the mystery of the Christian faith” (Pope Francis, MV).

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2016,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.