Wednesday 2 November 2022

About Today Readings

All the Faithful Departed

Wisdom 3:1-9; Isaiah 25:6-9 (alt). The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want – Psalm 22(23). Romans 5:5-11. Luke 7:11-17.

Do not cry

The verse in Luke is a short story – 157 words – and it contains multitudes. It’s about a woman from Nain, a small semi-rural town on the northern slope of Moreh Hill on the wide grassy plains of lower Galilee. The woman lost her husband and was left with her one son. One day, he too died. We know nothing about her except that on this day, she was a woman who had lost everything. On this day, she walks in the funeral procession for her son with a crowd of mourners. They emerge from the town gates. At the gates, the funeral procession meets another crowd about to enter the town. They’re following a local man, a Nazarene, whose look, speech and manner of dress were likely no different to hers. (Nazareth was a three-hour walk north.) The man sees her, sees her dead son, sees that she is crying, and the man feels compassion. He says, ‘do not cry’, and approaches the procession carrying the body of her son. The man speaks to the body of the dead boy, not a post-mortem blessing, but an imperative: get up. And the boy, now alive, gets up. Jesus’ heart went out to the heartbroken woman who had lost everything and restored her son to her. May our hearts do likewise.

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