Jesus raises the widow of Nain’s dead son to life. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by receiving the Virtue of Hope from God so he can be comforted in the grief of death with the hope of the Resurrection and by building the Virtue of Duty so he can more consistently fulfill his duties as a Catholic son.
10th Week in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Cycle C – Lk 7:11-17
Jesus leads His disciples and a “great crowd” towards the small town of Nain, near His home town of Nazareth. As He draws near to Nain, Jesus (referred to by Luke as, “the Lord”, meaning God) meets a large funeral procession of a young man who had died, leaving his grieving widowed mother in poverty; without her son to provide, the woman would be destitute, having to rely on charity and vulnerable to predators (Mk 12:38-40).
Jesus, who has suffered and will suffer, has compassion for the widow and takes charitable action. He instructs her not to weep and then steps forward to touch the bier (a wooden board used to carry the dead who are wrapped in linen). This was a shocking act, particularly for a rabbi, for Mosaic law stated that coming in contact with the dead left a person ritually unclean for a week (Num 19:11-19).
In a preview of His own resurrection, with a simple word, Jesus calls the young man to “arise” from the dead; the dead man is brought back to life and even begins to speak. Jesus gives the son to his mother; this is a replay of when the great prophet Elijah raised the widow’s son (1 Kings 17:20), a prefigurement of the giving of the Virgin Mother to be the mother of John at the Passion (Jn 19:29), and Jesus’ own resurrection. Filled with fear by the sight of the dead rising and the supernatural power of Jesus, the people proclaim that Jesus, is a “great prophet” and that God, has “visited His people.”
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be awed by the Divine Power and Charity of Jesus as He raises a dead man to life: Jesus, the perfection of Compassion, Comforts (a Spiritual Work of Mercy) the widow; with Divine Knowledge, Jesus chooses to both touch the funeral bier and command the dead man to return to life (He needed to do neither); Divine Power, Jesus miraculously returns the dead man to life, healing his body of the cause of death, a supernatural Corporal Work of Mercy, and reunites son and mother; Divine Prophet, Jesus confirms His identity as a prophet from God and prefigures His Power to raise Himself from the dead.
Comfort the grief of death by hope in the Resurrection
Realize: The greatest of human suffering is the shock, sorrow, absence, and grief that comes when a loved one dies; to heal the greatest human grief, Jesus, in His Divine Mercy, gives the greatest gift of resurrecting the faithful dead to eternal life in the infinite joy of Heaven.
Believe: Reflect upon The Resurrection of the Body (see CCC 988-1019).
Pray: Jesus, Resurrected Christ, help me build the Virtue of Hope so as I face the death of a loved one, or my own death, I trust in, and joyfully anticipate Your promise of the resurrection of the faithfully departed.
Fulfill the duties of a Catholic son
Realize: Jesus resurrects the young man from the dead in Nain to alleviate the sorrow of the widowed mother, but also so her son could care for her; every Catholic man has the duty and responsibility to comfort and care for his parents, and family members, in old age, illness and dying.
Believe: Reflect upon the Duties of Children (CCC 2214-2220).
Pray: Jesus, Perfect Son, help me build the Virtue of Duty/Responsibility (a part of Justice) so I prepare and carry out my duty to respect, comfort, and care for my parents and family members as they age, become infirm, and die.