Soon afterwards he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went with him. As he approached the gate of the town, a man who had died was being carried out. He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow; and with her was a large crowd from the town. When the Lord saw her, he had compassion for her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then he came forward and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, rise!”
The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized all of them; and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen among us!” and “God has looked favorably on his people!” This word about him spread throughout Judea and all the surrounding country.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
In today’s first reading Elijah brings a widow’s child back to life after calling upon the Lord. St. Paul tells us in the second reading that the gospel he preaches is not of human origin but comes through a revelation of Jesus Christ. In the gospel we see Jesus bring the son of a widow from Naim back to life.
Jesus is oft-times heard to say that he can only do and say what the Father wills. We understand this through Jesus’ ministry of prayer, preaching, compassion, and healing. And in today’s readings we meet three individuals who call upon God to use their gifts and talents for others.
We all have gifts and talents given to us by the Holy Spirit. As we develop these gifts and talents we must never forget who gave them to us.
So, calling upon the Holy Spirit as we leave the Easter season behind and launch forth into “ordinary time,” let us ponder the following:
— Call to mind a few of your particular gifts and talents
—Recall just once in the past week how you used a gift or talent for someone other than yourself?
—As you ponder this time in the past week when you used some gift or talent for another, did you hear yourself say: “I did a good thing.”
Or, did you hear yourself say, in the presence of our God: “We did well!”
—Fr. Tim Shepard, S.J. is a pastoral minister, librarian, and retreat director living at Colombiere, the Chicago-Detroit Jesuit retirement center in Clarkston MI.
Lord, as we journey through the minutes and hours of this day, increase our awareness of our gifts. When we see your gracious love as the creator of our talents, gratitude increases and confidence grows. We celebrate the divine synergy of your love and our life. We will greet the day’s activities with enthusiasm, and we will anticipate greater insights and greater opportunities to serve others.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!