Gospel Reflection for 10th Sunday Ordinary Time Year C – June 5th 2016
Jesus went to a town called Nain, accompanied by his disciples and a great number of people. When he was near the gate of the town it happened that a dead man was being carried out for burial, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a considerable number of the townspeople were with her. When the Lord saw her he felt sorry for her. ‘Do not cry’ he said. Then he went up and put his hand on the bier and the bearers stood still, and he said, ‘Young man, I tell you to get up.’ And the dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him to his mother Everyone was filled with awe and praised God saying, ‘A great prophet has appeared among us; God has visited his people’. And this opinion of him spread throughout Judaea and all over the countryside.
This is a story about unending life. A story that we don’t lose each other fully; we are given to each other in a new way in death than in life.
Jesus knew the feeling of wanting our loved ones with us. And of compassion in this situation.
JESUS WANTS LIFE FOR US
Jesus wants life for us. We have alive and dead places in ourselves. Hurt can do this and bereavement – this woman had lost both a husband and a son, and in a culture that values both, she was now a lost soul. New life can always come in. This is what Jesus was bringing. She needed the protective love of others.
Compassion is offered by Jesus. Needed much today. Compassion for the poorest of the poor, for the redundant man who cannot pay the mortgage. For the girl struggling with pregnancy and abortion thoughts, and for a public represtative wondering how to vote on moral issues.
Prayer brings compassion. Bring my hardness of heart for others to prayer, letting love come into the soul each day.
Listening also brings compassion. Hearing what another’s life is like. Maybe Mary his mother had told Jesus what it was like to be a widow. In the face of death and loss, Jesus brought the promise of life to the full.
And then compassion in action. No matter what, life is all the better when shared in the love and friendship of compassion.
Fr Donal Neary SJ is editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger