There is life in our faith and not ephemeral but everlasting. There is love in the Lord’s touch, in his eyes. There is movement in his hands and speech in his mouth. There is compassion in his heart—there is certainly that. In Nain he raised a widow’s son like Elijah of old had done in Zarephath. You could almost hear the prophet’s heart as he cried out, “O God, let your life-breath come back to him.” Stretching himself over the boy because what else could he do? In dramatic moments dramatic gestures are always appropriate; it reveals the confidence and the reverence Elijah had toward God, but also the disparity of his heart and also the total investment of his body, heart and soul in his prayer.
Jesus raises the son of the widow in a manner dramatic for its subtleties rather than its grand gestures. Its in the way you hear him say gently to the widow, “do not weep,” and placing his hand on the bier, the bearers stand still, and I hear him nearly whispering to the boy, “young man, I say to you arise: like how caressing Jarius’ daughter, he takes her hand and says, “little girl, arise,” and they do. It’s almost as if they’re doing him a favor like a child coming out of slumber at his parent’s command despite a confused state of lingering sleepiness. It’s beautiful because it’s delicate. The resurrection of life is here almost as fragile as its cessation, but what, in reality, what could be powerful?
The miracles reveal different aspects of God: the first his majesty and power, the second his closeness and intimate tenderness. For us we see how God likes to work through compassionate hearts tender and capable of being moved, and confident that in crying out or merely whispering, they will be heard. Yes, they will be heard because there is life in our faith not ephemeral but everlasting.
+ Br. Joseph Michael Fino, CFR
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