Lord of Compassion
Lord, I pray as St. Francis did that I might be a willing instrument of Your peace and help for others.
Read LUKE 7:11-17
 Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him.  As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out-the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her.  When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”  Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!”  The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.  They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.”  This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow did people react to this great miracle?
I recently met an elderly widow whose daughter had died some years previously. She had relied on her daughter’s help with many practical things, but the thing she found hardest to come to terms with was that, contrary to her expectations, her daughter had died before her.
The widow at Nain must have been struggling with similar feelings and the prospect of even harder physical consequences in a world where she would have little, if any, outside financial or other support. Her circumstances could not be more different from the centurion (7:8). He was eloquent, yet we don’t hear her speak at all; she is probably too overcome with grief. Still, there is no difference in the way Jesus treats these two people. He is immediately touched by the widow’s tears and tells her not to cry (13).
Jesus never runs away from sorrow. Perhaps we are sometimes tempted to because we just don’t feel able to handle it. But the important thing, however, is just being there, not only as a shoulder to cry on, but as a witness to God’s love and compassion in the saddest situation.
Do you know someone who is suffering in some way? Can you think of practical ways you can support them?
Open my eyes, Lord, to see the suffering of people around me and to offer them Your love and compassion.
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