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THE COMPASSIONATE CHRIST

Father Francis's picture
Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

1 Tim. 3:1-13 & Lk. 7:11-17.

Laying the framework for the development of strong and stable communities is Saint Paul's concern in today's first reading. The choice, training and encouragement of Church officials is a vital consideration. They will hold responsible and influential positions. Hence, they must be honest and trustworthy, hard workers, with good character, sound judgment, impeccable morality and experience in the community.

In today's Gospel we read that Jesus is both powerful and compassionate. When He saw the funeral procession leaving the town of Naim, He sized up the situation in a moment. Here was a widowed mother about to bury her only child. Jesus realised that the most difficult time for her was not at this moment but when she must return to an empty house alone.

His compassion went out, not to the boy who had died, but to his mother. It is not far-fetched to imagine that He saw in His mind another widow who in a short time would also be burying her only Son. That woman, of course, was His own mother. It is no wonder that He was moved with pity. The high point of the Gospel occurs, not when Jesus raised the boy to life, but when He gave him back alive to his mother.

The large crowd who witnessed the compassion of Jesus was struck with awe and gave praise to God. These people should be models for us in our worship, especially at Mass because God the Father has given us in His Son a Saviour, not only with the power to raise the dead to life, but Who understands our human feelings and needs. He Himself has shared in them. Like the crowd we are called to give praise and thanks to God for the great gift of His Son.

Heavenly Father, may each one of us be filled with the same awe and praise of Your Son today as those in the crowd were 2,000 years ago.

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