Ordinary Time: September 1st
GOSPEL (Luke VII. 11-16.) At that time, Jesus went into a city
called Naim: and there went with him his disciples, and a great
multitude. And when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold a
dead man was carried out, the only, son of his mother, and she was
a widow, and a great, multitude of the city was with her. Whom
when the Lord had seen, being moved with mercy towards her, said
to her: Weep not. And he came near, and touched the bier. And they
that carried it stood still. And he said: Young man, I say to
thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And
he delivered him to his mother. And there came a fear on them all;
and they glorified God, saying: A great prophet is risen up
amongst us, and God hath visited his people.
Why did Christ show compassion to this widow?
us that God takes sorrowful and destitute widows under His
protection; and is to them a consoler and helper; and to teach
us to do the same. Woe, therefore, to those who oppress them and
cause them to weep. The tears and cries of widows will ascend to
God, who will terribly punish the injuries inflicted upon them.
(Exod xxii. 22. 23.)
still other reasons for compassion, for He saw in this deceased
youth the death of sinners, and in the afflicted mother the pain
which the Church experiences at the spiritual loss of so many of
her children. Should this not also awaken our sympathy since it
was the principal cause which moved our Saviour to compassion.
If we are faithful children of our mother, the Church, it is
impossible for us not to share her sorrow, and we would surely
not be her children, if we could contemplate without sorrow the
multitude who daily die the death of sin, and thus separated
from the living body of Christ, hasten to eternal destruction. O
let us with the Church unceasingly, ask Jesus, that He raise
sinners from their spiritual death, enlighten those in error so
that all recognize the truth, find, and walk the path Which
leads to life!
Why did Christ say to the widow: Weep not?
He wished to
moderate her excessive sorrow, and to teach us that we should
not mourn for the loss of our relatives, like the heathens who
have no hope of resurrection to eternal life. (Thess. iv. I a.)
Resignation to the will of God, with prayer and good works, will
be of more use to the dead than many tears.
What else do we learn from this gospel?
That no one,
however young and healthy, will escape death, wherefore we
should always be prepared to die.