Saint Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
1 Timothy 3:1-13; Psalm 101:1-3, 5-6;Luke 7:11-17
When the Lord saw her, he was moved with pity for her. (Luke 7:13)
What tenderness there is in the heart of Jesus! Moved with compassion at the sight of the weeping widow whose only son had died, he restored the dead man to life.
The Greek expression that Luke used to describe Jesus’ feeling, means “to have mercy from one’s inner core” or “to be filled with heartfelt mercy.” What a perfect word for the situation! Jesus’ heart went out to the woman in her loss as he recognized the hardship of her situation. Without husband and son, this woman had no male protector, no one to provide for her daily needs, no economic security for the future. Without any means of earning a living, she would have to depend on the charity of others.
Seeing her grief, Jesus first comforted her. Then, touched by her sorrow and need, he manifested both his mercy and his power by raising the young man with a touch of the coffin and a word of command: “Arise!” (Luke 7:14).
Jesus showed kindness and compassion to this bereaved woman, even though no one asked him for help. No one even showed any real faith in him. In fact, they may not have even known who he was. Jesus took the initiative all by himself.
There is tenderness in the heart of Jesus for each of us. In compassion, he reaches out even before we ask for help, even if we have just a little faith. If you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, if you’re feeling wounded or despondent, if you’re suffering from a serious illness—whatever trial you are facing, turn to Jesus. He has words of comfort and consolation just for you.
But don’t stop there. Let the compassion that you have received flow out of you. Just as Jesus touched the coffin of that dead young man, you can take just one step toward touching someone else’s life. It doesn’t have to be much. Just a simple gesture, a kind word, or an offer to help. You can help raise people from their own tombs of sadness and fear.
“Thank you, Jesus, for your compassion! Thank you for giving me the hope and helping me to rise again.”`wau