Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (José Antonio Pagola)

Ross Reyes DizonHomilies and reflections, Year CLeave a Comment

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Jesus arrives in Nain when the village is experiencing great sadness because of what has occurred. Jesus is journeying accompanied by his disciples and a large crowd. Out of the village comes a funeral procession heading to the cemetery. A widowed mother, accompanied by her neighbors, goes to bury her only son.

Luke has briefly described for us the tragic situation of the woman. She is a widow, without a husband to take care of her and to protect her in that male-dominated society. All she has left is an only son, but then he dies, too. The woman says nothing. She just mourns her sorrow. What will become of her?

The meeting has been unexpected. Jesus came to announce the Good News of God in Nain also. What would be his reaction? According to the story, “When the Lord saw her, he was moved with pity for her and said to her, “Do not weep.’” It would be difficult to describe better the Prophet of God’s compassion.

He does not know the woman, but he takes time looking at her. He captures her pain and aloneness, and he is moved very profoundly. The dejection of that woman reaches deep inside him. His reaction is immediate: Do not weep. Jesus cannot stand seeing someone cry. He needs to intervene.

He does not think twice. He steps forward and touches the coffin, and puts a halt to the funeral.  He then says to the dead person, Young man, I tell you, arise! When the youth sits up and starts to talk, Jesus gives him to his mother to stop her from crying. Mother and son are together once again. She will no longer be alone.

It all seems so simple. The account does not insist on the prodigious aspect of what Jesus has just done. It invites the readers to see in him the revelation of God as Mystery of compassion and Force of life, able to save even from death. God’s compassion is what makes Jesus so sensitive to the people’s suffering.

In the Church, we need to recover compassion as soon as possible as the way of life that is proper to Jesus’ followers. We need to rescue it from a sentimental and moralizing conception that has discredited it. Mercy that demands justice is Jesus’ great command: Be merciful as your Father is merciful.

We need this compassion today more than ever. The centers of power consider everything except the sufferings of victims. They function as if nobody were hurting or losing. Jesus’ communities should listen to a cry of absolute indignation: one must take seriously the suffering of the innocent; society should not accept suffering as something normal, for it is unacceptable to God. He does not want to see anyone crying.

June 5, 2016
10th Sunday in O.T. (C)
Luke 7, 11-17

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