Tuesday - Ordinary Time
1) Opening prayer
creator and guide,
serve you with all our hearts
your forgiveness in our lives.
this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
for ever and ever. Amen.
Gospel Reading - Luke 7,11-17
happened that soon afterwards Jesus went to a town called Nain, accompanied by
his disciples and a great number of people.
he was near the gate of the town there was a dead man being carried out, the
only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a considerable number of the
townspeople was with her.
Lord saw her he felt sorry for her and said to her, ‘Don’t cry.’ Then he went
up and touched the bier and the bearers stood still, and he said, ‘Young man, I
tell you: get up.’ And the dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave
him to his mother.
was filled with awe and glorified God saying, ‘A great prophet has risen up
among us; God has visited his people.’ And this view of him spread throughout
Judaea and all over the countryside.
• Today’s Gospel presents
the episode of the resurrection of the son of the widow of Nain. The literary
context of this episode of the VII chapter of Luke helps one to understand. The
Evangelist wants to show that Jesus opens the road, revealing the novelty of God
which is presented to us in the announcement of the Good News. And in this way
the transformation and openness take place: Jesus accepts the request of a
foreigner, a non Jew (Lk 7, 1-10) and resurrects the son of a widow (Lk 7,
11-17). The way in which Jesus reveals the Kingdom surprises the Jewish
brothers who were not accustomed to such great openness. Even John the Baptist
is surprised and orders to go and ask: “Are you the one who is to come or are
we to expect someone else?” (Lk 7, 18-30). Jesus denounces the incoherence of
his patricians: “They are like children shouting to one another without knowing
what they want!” (Lk 7, 31-35). And finally, there is the openness of Jesus
toward women (7, 36-50).
• Luke 7, 11-12: The
meeting of the two processions. “Jesus went to a town called Nain. His
disciples and a great crowd were going with him. When he was close to the gate
of the town, there was a dead man being carried out to the cemetery, the only
son of his mother and she was a widow.” Luke is like a painter. With few words
he succeeds to paint a very beautiful picture on the encounter of the two
processions: the procession of death which is going out of the city and
accompanies the widow who is taking her only son towards the cemetery; the
procession of life which enters the city and accompanies Jesus. The two meet in
the small square at the side of the gate of the town of Nain.
• Luke 7,13: Compassion
begins to act here. “When the Lord saw her, he felt sorry for her and said
to her: “Do not cry!” It is compassion which moves Jesus to speak and to act.
Compassion signifies literally: “to suffer with”, to assume or make ours the
suffering of the other person, identifying oneself with the person, feeling the
pain, the suffering. It is compassion which puts into action the power of
Jesus, the power of life over death, the creative power.
• Luke 7,14-15: “Young
man, I tell you, get up!” Jesus gets near the bier and says: “Young men, I tell
you, get up!” And the dead man sat up and began to talk; and Jesus gave him to
his mother”. Sometimes, at the moment of a great sorrow caused by the death of
a loved person, people say: “In Jesus’ time, when he walked on this earth there
was hope not to lose a loved person because Jesus could resurrect her”. These
persons consider the episode of the resurrection of the son of the widow of Nain
as an event of the past which arouses nostalgia and also certain envy. The
intention of the Gospel, instead, is not, that of arousing nostalgia or envy,
but rather of helping us to experience better the living presence of Jesus in
our midst. It is the same Jesus, who continues alive in our midst, capable of
overcoming death and the sorrow of death. He is with us today, and in the face
of the problems of sorrow which strike us, he tells us: “I tell you, get up!”
• Luke 7, 16-17: The
repercussion. “Everyone was filled with awe and glorified God saying: ‘A
great prophet has risen up among us; God has visited his people”. The fame of
these events spread throughout Judaea and all over the countryside”. It is the
prophet who was announced by Moses (Dt 18, 15). It is God who comes to visit us
and the “Father of orphans and protector of the widows” (Ps 68, 6: Judith 9,
• Compassion moves Jesus
to resurrect the son of the widow. Does the suffering, the sorrow of others
produce in me the same compassion? What do I do to help the others to overcome
the sorrow and to create a new life?
• God visited his people.
Do I perceive the many visits of God in my life and in the life of the people?
Yahweh with gladness,
his presence with songs of joy!
that Yahweh is God, he made us,
to him, his people, the flock of his sheepfold. (Ps 100,2-3)