Daily Reflection – 9/17/19
Jesus journeyed to a city called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him. As he drew near to the gate of the city, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. A large crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, he was moved with pity for her and said to her, “Do not weep.” He stepped forward and touched the coffin; at this the bearers halted, and he said, “Young man, I tell you, arise!” The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, exclaiming, “A great prophet has arisen in our midst,” and “God has visited his people.” This report about him spread through the whole of Judea and in all the surrounding region.( Luke 7: 11-17)
This Gospel is all about the love of Jesus. He commands a dead man to rise, and he is obeyed. He shows that he is the Lord of life. And yet, when he commands us, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” or “Do not worry about tomorrow,” or “Follow me,” we resist. Does his Lordship work only on the dead? Hardly. Rather, he refuses to force his way into our hearts; he is Lord, but he is also Love. He makes his Lordship known, and then he invites us to fight under his banner – but there are no mercenaries in his army, only friends who serve the Lord of Love out of love for the Lord.
When he asks us something difficult, we should remember this passage. The same power which raised this dead man to life is at work in his commands to us. In baptism, this power floods our soul with grace through the words of the priest and the sign of water. Every word that Jesus speaks to us has the power to raise us up, to lift us into the kind of life we long to live.
Perhaps we need to pause more often and have a conversation with God. Maybe something like this . . . Lord, I know I have to obey someone in life: either myself, with all my ignorance and limitations, or some other teacher or guru, or the shallow advice of popular culture (which only cares about turning me into a good consumer) – or you. I want to obey you. I choose once again to follow you. Lord Jesus, I believe that you are the way, the truth, and the life. I know that you are with me in every moment of my life, the good moments and the bad ones. You suffer with me, because you know that having to suffer alone would double my pain. Why do I insist on walking alone? Why do I insist on resisting your compassion and comfort and the soothing balm of your Church’s doctrine? Jesus, teach me to bear my cross with you.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, your healing presence brings life and restores us to wholeness of mind, body, and spirit. Speak your word to me and give me renewed hope, strength, and courage to follow you in the midst of life’s sorrows and joys.”
God cares for each of us. He looks upon us and blesses us with the presence of the risen Jesus. His charge to us, his challenge for us, is to carry that tenderness and compassion to others, so we can partake in the raising of others to life.