Soon afterwards he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went with him. As he approached the gate of the town, a man who had died was being carried out. He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow; and with her was a large crowd from the town.When the Lord saw her, he had compassion for her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then he came forward and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, rise!” The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized all of them; and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen among us!” and “God has looked favorably on his people!” This word about him spread throughout Judea and all the surrounding country.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Generally when Jesus works a miracle, he responds to an act of faith. In today’s gospel, however, he reacts spontaneously to help the widow. Her loss is devastating; she has lost her only son. A mother’s loss of her child is always painful, but the loss of an only child is even more so. Moreover, in Jesus’ time widows were in a precarious position financially. They were totally dependent on their sons. Now the widow of Naim was all alone without any solid means of support—without a husband or a son.
But there is something else here. We wonder: did Jesus see in the body on the litter his own body on the cross? Did he see in the broken-hearted mother of Naim the broken-hearted Mother of Calvary? And, for the widow of Naim, did he do what he would want to do for his own Mother? “Do not weep. Young man, arise.”
Lord, open our eyes to your love for us. Help us to see your kindness in the events of the day.