10TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – C
Luke 7: 11-17
Does God ever care when we are in pain? Can He feel our sorrow? What does He do when we are grieving?
In the Gospel this Sunday, there were two movements, namely the people walking through a funeral procession and the disciples following Jesus. One was a death march represented by the corpse, the other was a walk of life represented by Jesus. The funeral group symbolized humanity carrying death advancing through history while the disciples of Jesus were a symbol of the New Humanity celebrating life. In these two movements, life and death came face to face with each other with life achieving victory at the end.
Jesus was moved with compassion, not on the dead son, but on the mother who was also a widow just like Elijah on the widow in the first reading. For Jesus, it was not ordinary pity but a compassion that moved Him to the very depths of His being. Without being asked of any favor, Jesus Himself took the initiative to reach out because one day He would also be a dead son to His mother. Before attending to her dead son, Jesus first comforted the widow saying “Do not cry.” Without minding the social taboo of incurring impurity, Jesus touched the bier. Suddenly the death march stopped in the presence of Life! Jesus said “Young man, I tell you, get up!” The power of the Word commanding, re-creating life once again. As most of the stories of St. Luke, the twist and surprise of this story was not the raising of the dead but Jesus giving back the son to his mother. Jesus knew one day His mother would grieve over His death but at the end, He would be given back to Her alive!
No parents would want to bury their children! Parents who have experienced the loss of their children could easily identify themselves with the widows in the readings today. God the Father fully understands the feeling of parents losing their children when He lost His only begotten Son! He experienced every inch of the pain, the grieving, the sorrow and everything there is in death.
The God who created us is not stoic and indifferent like the pagan gods who did not feel the emotions of people. God through Jesus has entered into the very fiber of human feelings and emotions. Jesus is the personification of the compassion of God!
When we are walking in a “death march” because of the loss of someone very dear to us or when we are grieving over our own dying to self, God meets on the way and cries with us but most especially He comforts us and gives our life back to us. Our “death marches” stop in the presence of Jesus and we continue to journey through life by following Him….