An Overflow of Compassion

September 19, 2017
Tuesday of the 24th Week in Ordinary Time
The Gospel Today
Luke 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.

Reflection (Sem. Lester John D. Cabais)

There are many absolute things on earth and death is one of those. Most of the time, it is an event where an extreme feeling of sadness and depression occurs in one’s life; a reality where everybody is not exempted. If there is also one that is certain in life, it would be that one day, we or someone in our family will be gone to join our Creator.

In the Gospel, I cannot imagine the painful situation of the widow losing her only son. It is an unimaginable situation for her. Losing her husband and her only son seemed to be the loss of meaning of her existence – not being able to find the reason to continue living. Similarly, in a recent experience, only few weeks after my entrance in the seminary, one of my most dear aunts lost his eldest son abruptly due to illness. He was an elder brother whom I loved dearly since childhood and I can tell exactly the pains of being left by someone. My aunt was not able to come home for certain reasons. I can only imagine her great sorrow; such a painful moment for a mother. If she can only give own her life in exchange for his son’s life, she would.

In the Gospel, Christ showed his compassion to the woman. It must have been hard for Him to see a mother weeping in sorrow. Without being asked for it, He stepped forward, spoke to the dead boy and the boy sat up and began to talk. It was Christ’s ineffable mercy which made Him grant that miracle to the helpless and grieving woman. Moreover, Jesus showed His authority over death, a life’s certainty feared by many of us. He came to usher in the new era of God’s reign where death is already conquered by Him. Our time has not yet come for us to follow and be with those who went ahead of us. Surely, we long for them but, God promised us an eternity with Him where His kingdom will have no end. There will be no more room for death or tears. Christ said to the woman in the gospel, “do not weep” – an assurance for us that in our sadness, He is always there to sympathize with us and wipe away every tear in our eyes.

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