The Gospel reading from the Mass for Tuesday of the 24th Week of Ordinary Time is Luke 7:11-17.

Christ leads His disciples and a “great crowd” towards the small town of Nain, near His home town of Nazareth.  As He draws near to the city, Christ (referred to by Luke as “the Lord”, meaning God) meets a large funeral procession of a young man who had died, leaving his grieving widowed mother in poverty; without her son to provide, the women would be destitute, having to rely on charity and vulnerable to predators (Mark 12:38-40).

Christ, who has suffered and will suffer, has compassion for the widow and takes charitable action. He instructs her not to weep and then steps forward to touch the bier (a wooden board used to carry the dead who are wrapped in linen). This was a shocking act, particularly for a rabbi, for Mosaic law stated that coming in contact with the dead left a person ritually unclean for a week (Num 19:11-19).

In a preview of His own resurrection, with a simple word, Christ calls the young man to “arise” from the dead; the dead man is brought back to life and even begins to speak. Christ gives the son to his mother; this is a replay of the great prophet Elijah’s raising the widow’s son (1 Kgs 17:20), a prefigurement of the giving John to be the son of the Virgin Mother at the Passion (John 19:29) and Christ’s own resurrection. Filled with fear by the sight of the dead rising and the supernatural power of Christ, the people proclaim that Jesus is a “great prophet” and that God has “visited His people.”

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of Man, Christ is full of Divine Mercy, understands suffering and is filled with the human emotion of compassion for the plight of the poor widow.  Divine Leader and Protector, Christ takes decisive charitable action.  Omniscient, Christ knows how to raise the dead, and Omnipotent, has the power to do so. Divine Prophet, Christ gives a powerful symbolic sign in replaying Elijah and in previewing His Resurrection. Son of God, Christ strikes fear and awe in a large crowd, causing them to glorify God.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Sometimes Scripture loses its impact because men fail to read like eyewitnesses. Imagine at a wake of someone you know, a man comes and touches the open casket and the dead person returns to life. Be astonished at Christ’s power to raise the dead.

2) Christ prepares mankind to accept the reality of the resurrection, first by raising the widow’s son and Lazarus to earthly life and then by His own Resurrection of eternal life. Review the Catechism’s teaching on the Resurrection of the Body (CCC 988-1019) and pray for Christ to give you hope that you will be raised to Heaven.

3) Christ resurrects the young man in Nain to alleviate the sorrow of the widowed mother but also so the son could care for her. Review the Duties of Children (CCC 2214-2220) and pray for Christ to help you to fulfill your Christian duty as a son.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Guardian Angels

Virtue of the Day – Justice

Corporal Work of Mercy – To clothe the naked

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To counsel the doubtful