Reflecting on Luke 7: 11-17
There are three instances in the gospels of Jesus raising someone from the dead, and in each case, Jesus is moved by the grief of those left behind. When Jairus comes to Jesus, pleading for the life of his little daughter (Luke 8: 41-56) Jesus is moved with pity. The weeping sisters of Lazarus touch him so deeply that he begins to cry too (John 11:1-44). And in today’s gospel―which we rarely hear because it often gets subsumed by post-Easter feast days― Jesus is moved to pity because the man who died was the only son of his widowed mother.
We can speculate, of course, that Jesus was particularly attuned to that kind of grief, since he was Mary’s only son―and we assume that St. Joseph was dead by this time since he disappears from the story early on―and he knew that his own widowed mother would soon know the terrible grief of losing her only son.
Can you remember times when the grief of strangers literally made you feel “with passion” so deeply that your gut hurt? I’ve experienced compassion many times in my life, and each time I was left wounded, stricken, and utterly aware that I had been ushered into the broken heart of God.
Why are not all brought forth from the grave? That’s the question, of course. But the three times that Jesus raised people from the dead, power came out from him because his heart was broken. If you want to know the healing power of Jesus, come to him with a broken and contrite heart. There he will be, right in the midst of you.
What memories do you have of God’s presence during a broken heart?
Kathy McGovern ©2016