Friday 1 July 2016

Tuesday of 24th week Mardi de la 24e semaine

“Jesus went to a town called Nain, accompanied by his disciples and a great number of people.”

1 Co.12,12-14.27-31a Ps.99 Lk.7,11-17

Tuesday of 24th Week, even numbered year

“Now when 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.”

Jesus moves forward with his disciples in the life of his people and here he encounters in Naim a considerable amount of people.

Many people are following Jesus wanting to find out what is going on.

Jesus encounters this widow who is about to bury her only son ; this is situation just about at the limit one can bear. He feels pity towards her. She does in fact prefigure what his own mother Mary will have to go through! THis situation reveals the death which paralyses us, which breaks our capacity to act, rendering us inert.

Something is going to come about and tis because Jesus is Good News, Word of God from whom comes the life-giving Gift of God.

This woman from Naim asks for nothing.As this poor widow follows the coffin, she touches the bottom of her sorrow, she is taking in her great solitude.

She has lost her husband, now she has lost her son, and in the midst of this big crowd walking with her and full of sympathy towards her, she has never before felt as alone.

Jesus has pity on this mother, not wanting her to weep. He wants to give her back her son. ’Don’t cry!’ All of the tenderness Jesus ahs for humanity passes through these three words.

God’s mercy is overflowing when faced with this mother, broken by the death of her only son. This woman is the image of the Church which is in tears as it stands before all the tombs in this world.

The word of God brings the dead back to life again and the mother finds her son once more.

“When the Lord saw her, he felt sorry for her and said to her, ’Don’t cry.’ Then he went up and touched the coffin and the bearers stood still, and he said ’Young man I tell you: get up.’ An the young mans at up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him to his mother.”

These two crowds are in the presence of Jesus who has his people live the impossible of what Love is.

The link between the two situations : Jesus on his way and the regenerated widow, manifests the Love which Jesus feels s He is present to her life.

The first thing he asks of this mother is not to cy. It is indeed true that we mustn’t allow ourselves to go down into ourselves in those places of distress, emptiness, void. Jesus remains open and gets others to remain open, he brings an order that comes upon him and to her and to the others, as he orders the bearers and in the end to this young man himself:

’Young man, I order you, get up!’

The dead man sits up.

Jesus came to overcome death! He is touched in his heart, reacts by getting the young man to stand up.

Jesus sets us free by the Living Word of God. Mary intercedes for us just as much as she does for an only Son. She is full of compassion and feels sorrow when she sees her children going in the direction of death.

Jesus is the Lord of life, when He is faced with this weeping woman, her prayer to the Father is the greatest proof that love is stronger than death. The whole crowd can’t get over it. They came in tears and now they form a people around Jesus, He who has given back life.

“Fear took hold of them all and they glorified God, saying ’A great porphet has risen up against us ; God has visited his people.’ And this word spread out throughout the whole of Judea and all over the countryside.”

The dead man is given back to life, rendered to his mother, this is a great sign of what is to come. Jesus is going to have to be the first one to pass through death to destroy it. Mary also has to know the ordeal of this crossing in order to be able to bear our own.

And yet this sign unifies both crowds into one people. Good News spreads even further abroad. This encounter already has a taste of the Resurrection. Jesus takes onto himself the whole reality of our miseries, sufferings and death that are present in the world.

He touched the young man’s coffin with his hand so as to show how the power of life comes to him through his body.

In this manner the Gospel shows us how we should support, comfort, console the afflicted and pay homage to the dead.

By his Passion and Resurrection, Jesus saves us, this victory of Love is celebrated on the evening of the Easter Vigil.

A fire of joy shines on Easter night throughout the whole world, and out of our hearts there shines hope. In the night of the world which is also the night of our hearts we are with Jesus.

We ask for the grace that we receive the Word of God every day as a Light coming to us from Jesus.