The WORD in Other Words by Fr Raymun Festin SVD (Rome)
Tuesday Week 24 Ordinary Time,
Today‘s Gospel narrates to us a very touching story about Jesus‘ deep sense of compassion. While Jesus was traveling with his disciples, he encountered a funeral procession of a young man, his mother‘s only son.
After Jesus raised the dead son of the widow, He was declared prophet by the people. As Luke‘s Gospel puts it: “The people glorified God, exclaiming, ‘A great prophet has risen in our midst.”
Luke tells us that Jesus was moved with pity upon seeing the grieving mother, a widow. Jesus felt deep compassion for her.
That is Jesus. His heart easily bleeds in mercy and compassion.
Jesus felt so much pity for the widow because he knew that she was in a very precarious situation. With the death of her only son, she was now left alone. No one would take care of her in the future. During the time of Jesus, the only secure means of welfare for widows was the family. Now that her only son was dead, the widow had practically lost her security. She was virtually dead.
Perhaps Jesus saw in the widow His Mother Mary who would be a widow herself someday, and the prospect touched him to the core.
The Jesus we see in today‘s Gospel is the God of mercy and compassion. Pope Francis‘ book bears the title, “The Name of God is Mercy.”
It means that we can approach God and beg for mercy, and we shall receive mercy, without question, without conditions. Jesus assures St. Faustina, the prophetess of the Divine Mercy, that God‘s compassion is like a vast ocean in which all our sorrows and sins, all our pains and guilt, are drowned without a trace.