Do not weep.
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.”
Both the Old and New Testament lay out a scenes we see all too often in our city and country. A young man has died. His friends bear his body away. The mourners are there. The mother is weeping. In both scenes there is a powerful encounter with God who comforts and changes things, a glimpse of the after Jesus time. All that is now ours since His redemption.
Elijah seems mad at God – here I am, staying with this woman who is sheltering me, and You let her son die? Fix this. God listens and really does intervene. He raises the young man and Elijah returns him to his mother.
In our Gospel story we see the only son of a widow, her sole support, has died. He is carried out and the procession encounters Jesus. He will not let this situation stand. He intervenes and raises the widow’s son.
These are happy endings to very sad stories. We can relate to these situations. We, who are faithful, are not able to escape tragedy. We ask God – why do You let these things happen? Let us recognize our new truth.
This new after Jesus truth is powerful. It comes in understanding what we have in these after Jesus times – the promise we now hold. That truth is illustrated for us by St. Paul.
In Galatians, Paul recounts the fact that while he was smart, knowledgeable, powerful even – he was a jerk. Yet God would not let that stand. God intervenes and introduces Paul to Jesus. He took what was broken and wrong in Paul and redeemed it. He took Paul and showed him the power of this new day, this new after Jesus time, this time of grace.
If we see difficulty, death, and sorrows in our old ways, in unredeemed ways, we are left with weeping. If we see difficulty, death, and sorrows in after Jesus ways we have powerful comfort, we find the depth of the peace we own. We can think like Paul. For all the bad we encounter in our lives, we have been changed by faith in Jesus. We have a new power and comfort.
Paul saw with new eyes, eyes focused on God’s grace. The old ways of life, the old sorrows no longer mattered. In the after Jesus time we have become truly invincible, saved, redeemed – we are made new by faith. We have God with us, His promise is ours. What we have is incomparable joy and assurance – we own heaven as our inheritance and no difficulty, death, or sorrow can take that from us. We live in the after Jesus time. He changed life for us. This is the after Jesus time. Do not weep.