Prayer – Lord, in your compassion, give me life.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus standing with the widow by the funeral)
Naim is just 3 miles away from Nazareth. It still has a cemetery that has been used for centuries. Jesus stops death in its tracks and makes it retreat. The story obviously looks forward to Jesus’ resurrection. Luke regularly stresses Jesus’ compassion and his care for women.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).
When Jesus went with his disciples and a large crowd to Naim, he met a dead man being carried out, the only son of a widowed mother. A large crowd was with her.
When the Lord saw her, he was moved with pity and said to her, “Weep not”. Then, he came near and touched the bier. Those carrying it stood still. He said, “Young man I say to you arise”. The dead man sat up and began to speak. Jesus gave him to his mother.
A fear came upon all and they glorified God saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us” and “God has visited his people”. This report spread throughout Judea and all the countryside.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- Two large crowds meet. One is a crowd of death, on the way to a burial. The other is a crowd of life, on the way to Jesus’ resurrection.
- Jesus stops the burial procession in its tracks. It will go no farther.
- He is filled with pity. He sees in the widow a foreshadowing of his own mother’s sorrows.
- By touching a dead body, He contracts ritual impurity. But, his power overcomes death. All is clean.
- To many millions, Jesus will say “arise” on the last day.
- The results are clear. The young man speaks, and is totally restored.
- Faith spreads like wildfire. They see Jesus as their expected Messiah and realize that God has visited them.
- How fortunate that Jesus was there at the right time.
Affections. (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, without you I tend toward death. With you, I have fullness of life.
- Stop the forces of death in my heart and soul. Infuse your divine life.
- How great is your compassion. It flows out in my every need.
- Touch me, Jesus. Touch me and make me whole.
- If you speak that word, “Arise”, I will come back to divine life.
- O Jesus, you always come to me at the right time, when all else fails.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own)
- I will bring my sins to Jesus. He will remove them.
- I will listen for Jesus’ word – “Arise”.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
Jesus said to the widow, “Weep not”. He said to her son, “Arise”.