Reflecting on Lk. 18: 1-8
Was St. Luke raised by a widow? You have to wonder. The other three gospels barely mention widows, but Luke gives us nine stories of widows, and his companion volume, the Acts of the Apostles, gives us another three.
It’s Luke who points out that when Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the Temple, it was the widow Anna who stepped forward to bear witness to the special status of the Child. Today we have another Lukan widow, so strong and savvy that she squared off against a judge, and WON.
It shouldn’t be surprising, since Luke’s gospel is shot through, on every page, with compassion for those who are poor, and widows were the poorest of the poor. I remember my great friend, Sr. Macrina Scott, telling of her experience of a widow in Zambia. Immediately after the husband’s death, his father and brother came to her house and stripped it of everything of value. Then they threw her out of the house. The men-folk owned it now.
The widows in the New Testament were almost in similar straits. Think of the widow of Nain, who had no husband, and her only son had died (Lk. 7: 11-17). Jesus’ heart went out to her. He raised her son and “gave him to his mother.”
Actually, come to think of it, given that St. Joseph disappears so early in the gospels, the better question is, “Was JESUS raised by a widow?” I think he was. And might it be that Jesus’ deep compassion for the widow whose only son had died is a foreshadowing of the grief he knew his Mother would bear? And, of course, God raised that Son too.
In what ways are you of service to those who have lost a spouse?
Kathy McGovern ©2022 This column was inspired by Madelon Maupin, 5/16, NT. Bible Study