Jesus went to a town called Naim and many of his disciples went with him —a great number of people. As He reached the gate of the town, a dead man was being carried out. He was the only son of his mother and she was a widow; there followed a large crowd of townspeople. On seeing her, the Lord had pity on her and said, «Don't cry». Then He came up and touched the stretcher and the men who carried it stopped. Jesus then said, «Young man, awake, I tell you». And the dead man got up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. A holy fear came over them all and they praised God saying, «A great prophet has appeared among us; God has visited his people». This news spread out in the Jewish country and the surrounding places.
If we look the way Jesus acts and discerns, we will understand that He was living always in the present, without forgetting the finality. Today we have one such example. Living in the present is, to understand and know our interior thinking, feeling and emotions, including the conflicts and doubts, and be connected to this. At the same time, is important that we remain connected to the events and moments exterior of us, not only intellectually, but also emotionally and if we can participle, then we should engage. It is this state of life, which made Jesus to make a pause of His journey and enquire all that happens outside of Him.
Jesus is asking us not to be rigid in our approach. We should have some flexibility and openness. It is in this flexibility that the Good Samaritan could make a stop over and restart the journey. Jesus is helping us to understand in this pause, the richness of His humanity which is filled with compassion and love.
Whenever He comes to meet us he says, ‘peace be with you’, don’t be afraid’, or don’t cry’, I am there with you. When this assurance comes from the giver of life, this is really wonderful. No one knew the giver of life. To know the presence of the giver of life, we too should make this pause, so that Jesus gets the space and time, to do and accomplish in us His Father’s will.
We are all missionaries. Jesus wishes that we re-enter into our own community as a new-born Christian and be the witness of life. By presenting this young man to the mother, Jesus is entrusting him a new mission of spreading the good news of divine love and compassion. Jesus sends each and every one of us to the society and asks us to be a light and salt of the earth.
«Young man, awake, I tell you»
+ Fr. Joan SERRA i Fontanet
Today, two groups of people cross each other's path… One group escorting the death; the other one escorting the life. A poor widow, followed by her relatives and friends, is carrying out his only son to the cemetery while, suddenly, she sees a lot of people following Jesus. The two groups of people get together and they come to a halt, while Jesus tells the mother that was going to lay to rest her son: «Don't cry» (Lk 7:13). The crowd looked at Jesus, who was not indifferent to that mother's pain and suffering, but feeling deeply sorry for her, He brings her son back to life. For, finding Jesus is to find life, as Jesus said about Himself: «I am the resurrection and the life» (Jn 11:25). St. Braulio of Saragossa writes: «Let the hope of resurrection encourage us, then, because we shall see again those whom we lose here below».
In reading this fragment of the Gospel about the resurrection of that young man of Naim, we could emphasize Jesus' divinity and stand fast on it, by saying that only God could have brought back his life to this young man; but, today, I would rather stress Jesus Humanity as, here, we do not see Jesus as a remote being, or as someone very different to us, or even somebody so important that He could not arouse in us the confidence and trust a good friend would.
We, Christians, must learn to emulate Jesus. We must ask God the grace to be like Christ for the others. How wonderful if others could see us as Jesus' very image on this earth! Those who saw St. Francis of Assissi, for instance, were also seeing Jesus' image. Saints are those that carry Jesus in their words and deeds, and imitate his way of doing things and his goodness. Our society need saints and you can be one in your environment.