“He said: ‘Young man, I tell you to arise… and Jesus gave him to his mother.” Luke 7:11-17
Jesus journeys down the road to Naim. Here, he performs one of the very early miracles in his ministry. No doubt, this is a sad story — a widow’s only son has died, leaving her without personal support or financial security.
Then, this miracle has a fantastic effect on her, whose son is “given over to her” and restored to life.
Now, mother and son can go on with their lives trying to live differently. Hopefully, they live in the spirit of Jesus’s Beatitudes, which Jesus had just previously taught, as told by Saint Luke.
Again this is very early in Jesus’s ministry.
But the miracle story has another amazing effect, namely, the three-fold reasons why we call upon the power of God. These are in full display.
First, we ask for God’s help to address our own needs. Second, we are thankful for his personal presence and healing. Third, we are in awe of his power to change hearts.
Luke tells us that “fear” seized the crowd; perhaps the better word is “awe,” in which we stand before a miracle that is mostly unexplainable except for this healer. The people exclaimed: “A great prophet has arisen in our midst, and God has visited his people.”
People were taking notice of this young rabbi, preacher, and healer. So much so in the very next passages, we continue to read about two representatives from John the Baptist coming to Jesus asking: “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to expect someone else?”
On Friday, we celebrated the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, a devotion that invites us to come to the Lord in our hour of greatest need, to seek his counsel, comfort, and healing.
It’s in this unique relationship with Christ with his arms open to all, and his great heart, a reminder that his love is universal.
Does Christ’s love embrace everyone?
The Sacred Heart tells us that no one is unworthy of Christ’s love — there are no exceptions.
With this symbol, we, too, become “other Christs” as we struggle to bring his healing and his saving power to all people in need.
Alice Camille, a spiritual writer, has this to say about the Sacred Heart of Jesus:
“There is nothing sadder than life without love. But even in those seasons when we feel most alone and uncherished, how dearly beloved we are!
When in doubt, look to that blazing Sacred Heart on fire with a yearning for your joy and fulfillment.
Every good thing under heaven is offered to you in the benevolent gaze of Jesus Christ.
Our Lady of Refuge, Castroville, CA.