Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton

Stay with us, Lord, on our journey

Cycle C

Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

Luke 7: 11-17

“He felt sorry for her”

Jesus arrived at Nain just as a dead man was being carried out for burial, the only son of his widowed mother. That meant more for her than the loss alone; it meant that she would now be without any means of support, no husband and no son. Naturally “he felt sorry for her”, and approached the dead man, said “Young man, I tell you to get up”, and “gave him back to his mother”. The sorrow of Jesus is the compassion of God, he is the visible and active presence of God in our midst.

There must have been many other deaths in the towns and villages that Jesus visited yet only on three occasions do we hear of Jesus bringing someone back to life. Clearly, he has not come to do away with death – as he himself would later experience. So what may we understand from this incident? Jesus came among us to reveal the boundless love of God for every being. It would appear that in this incident the mother’s need and distress were uppermost. Here is a sign that the mercy and compassion of God reaching out to us even beyond death itself, a sign of encouragement to all who experience need and distress.

 In Jesus the love and compassion of the unseen God are made incarnate and visible and tangible. But God’s love and compassion did not end with the ascension of Jesus into heaven, nor should the visible and tangible expressions of that love be lacking. The Risen Lord lives on in us. It is now our task to be the active expression of his and his Father’s constant care for all but especially for those in need and distress. It is now through our hearts and hands that the love of God will reach them.