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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Fr. Bob’s Reflection on Raising the Widow’s Son from the Dead

Franciscan Friars
Franciscan Friars
The Message in the Crucifix
(Luke 7:11-17)
In this gospel, we cannot begin to imagine what this widow is going through. She had no husband, and now she has lost her only son. In those times and in that culture, this was both a tragedy and a catastrophe for her. She was a woman alone in a patriarchal society, most likely with no means of support. In that society, a woman without a husband or son would be destitute. Jesus asks her no questions. "Who is she? What is her name? Where is she from?" He sees a grief stricken human being, and He is moved with pity. So Jesus goes forward and touches the coffin. This action took courage. Jewish law forbade anyone to touch a coffin with a dead person inside. He would be reprimanded for not obeying the law. His need for compassion for this mother and her desperate situation over-rode both civil and religious law for Him. He then gives the young man back to his mother.
Jesus did not raise many people from the dead, as far as we know, only three: Jairus' daughter, the young man of Naim and his friend, Lazarus. It seems that Jesus is responding to the enormity of this mother's pain. He heals. He liberates. He creates new life.
Many of us have known the kind of pain that the widow in this gospel felt. Many of us feel that life has been unfair. We try to do our best, but things just do not work out. Broken relationships, the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, and the question often arises, "Is this the way God treats his friends." At times like this, I ask you to look at the Crucifix. This is God's beloved Son who asked the questions, "Why have You abandoned Me?" But in the end, He would say, "Into Your hands I command My spirit."
In the Crucifix is the message that you trust your relationship with God as Jesus did. Ask yourself what is my relationship with God like? If it is one of love, then you have trust in God. God is a friend, is beloved, is in a relationship with you. And like in any relationship, God asks for your trust.
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ, who had His doubts, is proof that God will have the last word. Remember—if God is love—love does not delight in evil, but love rejoices in the truth. Love always protects, love always trusts, love always hopes, and love always perseveres. (1 Cor. 13:7)
In times of trouble, we often feel far removed from God. At such times, ask yourself this question. If I do not feel close to God, guess who moved.
Fr. Robert Warren
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Robert Warren Signature
Fr. Robert Warren, S.A.
Spiritual Director
P.S. Beginning on June 13th, the Friars of the Atonement will celebrate a Novena of Masses in honor of the Feast of St. Anthony. Join with us in placing your prayers before St. Anthony by sending your most heartfelt petitions to me now. I pray that St. Anthony and the Saints bless you with their loving patronage for all the good you will do in Christ's name.
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