In today’s gospel reading (Luke 7: 11-17) we find Jesus traveling to the city of Nain where he ends up raising an only son of a widow. At first glance it is easy to think on the surface and see that Jesus has saved the son. We look a little deeper and see that Jesus has also saved the mother because without an adult male in the family the woman would be destitute. Looking deeper still, we see that Jesus also saves us today and offers us the opportunity to be brought back into life (Him) each and every day.
I think it is pretty safe to assume all of us have experienced times when we have been the new person in the crowd, whether we were new to the school, it was our first day on the job, or even our first Sunday Mass at a new parish after we made a big move. Regardless of our individual situations the feelings we encounter are often similar, feelings of nervousness, caution mixed with courage, and generous portions of daring combined with faith in God’s path set before us. I imagine this is how the widow of Nain felt as she walked along with those carrying the body of her only son. Her status in the community died with her son and as they walked outside the walls of the city she surely must have felt like she too had died.
The widow of Nain was cast off and rejected just like we are rejected by those who once shared significant parts of our lives with us. It can easily feel like someone ripped your heart out of you and there is a big nothingness. Where do you go? What do you do?
Sometimes life can deal us some pretty lethal blows, relationships fall apart, jobs disintegrate, reputations dissolve, even our ability to think and do things that once came easy might be crumbling before our eyes. Whatever losses we face in life we must take them as an opportunity to renew our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus. When we hold onto Him and only Him, we can endure these losses without fear of what the future will bring. We know that our loving Father who created us, who loved us into being, will always be present regardless of everything else falling apart. Sure, we will be sad but the challenge is, and will always be, to take that sadness and use the energy to grow closer to the Lord as we lean only on Him. Then the path becomes clear and we see the invitation He offers us and invitation to come closer into His heart and discover renewed life.