Daily Gospel Reflection - Memorial of Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Bishop Robert Barron
September 13, 2022
Memorial of Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Gospel: Lk 7:11-17
Jesus journeyed to a city called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him. As he drew near to the gate of the city, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. A large crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, he was moved with pity for her and said to her, "Do not weep." He stepped forward and touched the coffin; at this the bearers halted, and he said, "Young man, I tell you, arise!" The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, exclaiming, "A great prophet has arisen in our midst," and "God has visited his people." This report about him spread through the whole of Judea and in all the surrounding region.
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, our Gospel today gives us Jesus’ raising of the son of the widow of Nain. This is a prime exemplification of the key Gospel truth that everything Jesus said and did, in one way or another, is an anticipation of his Resurrection. The God of Israel, the God of Jesus Christ, is a God of life, a God of the living. He hates death and the ways of death.
The death in today’s Gospel goes beyond the tragic loss of a loved one, as awful as that is. In the context of Jesus’ time and place, this is a disaster for the widow. There is no social safety net, no insurance, no guaranteed income. Unless she finds kindly neighbors who will support her, she is lost without her husband and, importantly, her "only son." This is why the heart of Jesus is especially moved with pity.
Notice please that the reaction of the bystanders is fear. This is the fear that comes from the turning upside down of a world. This is also the reaction of the women at the tomb on Easter Sunday morning. An evangelization that isn’t a little scary is an inadequate evangelization.