1 Kings i7; 17-24 Galatians 1: 11-19 Luke 7: 11-17 AFTER ALL the excitement of Lent, Holy Week and Eastertide, culminating in the great feasts of Pentecost and the Trinity, the Church now slips back into ordinary time, and hack to the Gospel of Luke.
We could hardly do better than this story for our reintroduction to the third evangelist, for this story bears many of his marks. In the first place, he is a supreme artist, and, like so many Lucan narratives, the story of the Widow's Son at Nain lodges easily in the memory.
Secondly, Luke's gospel of women, and the widow is one of U number of female characters whom Luke alone puts before us. Thirdly, this gospel is the gospel of the oppressed and marginalised, and a widow who h&j lost her only son, her sole means of support, is niarginalisect 1,aleed.
So it is a illoroughly I.ucan
passage; but we can go deeper yet, for every gospel story is not merely the product of its human author, but also a sketch of what the Word of God is like when it becomes incarnate, in Jesus, and in the community which he founded.
Notice, first, its drawingpower: Jesus is accompanied not only by His disciples, but also by "a great number of people". Again and again throughout all four gospels, the Word is a crowd-puller.
As a result of this accidental, unsought encounter he is able to say, in those familiar authoritative tones "do not weep", and with equal authority first to halt the cortege and then, as though it were the easiest and most natural thing in the world, to say to the son "young man I say to you, get up". Such is Jesus' command of the situation that it really comes as no surprise when the young man gets up and begins to speak.
Then, in a characteristically Lucan touch, Jesus "gave him to his mother", quoting the story of Elijah which forms today's first reading. •
Filially, the impact of this vivid demonstration of the gospel's power is underlined in a characteristically Lucan way: "fear seized everyone, and they glorified God", echoing the reactions to God's selfrevelation shown earlier in the gospe4