Where Compassion Meets Grief
- Reading I: 1 Timothy 3:1-13
- Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 101
- Gospel Reading: Luke 7:11-17
Jesus and the Widow of Nain
How do you respond when you meet misfortune? In a number of places the gospel records that Jesus was "moved to the depths of his heart." Our English word "compassion" is a weak translation of the Hebrew word for "sympathy". Why was Jesus so moved on this occasion? Jesus not only grieved the untimely death of a youth, but he showed the depth of his concern for a woman who lost not only a husband, but an only child as well. The scriptures make clear that God takes no pleasure in the death of anyone (see Ezekiel 33:11); he desires life, not death. Jesus not only had compassion, he also had power — the ability to restore life and make whole again.
Where is Nain?
(From Heb. nain, "green pastures," "lovely"), the name of a town near the gate of which Jesus raised to life a widow’s son (Luke 7:11-17). It is identified with the village called Nein, standing on the north-western slope of Jebel ed-Duhy (=the "hill Moreh" = "Little hermon"), about 4 miles from Tabor and 25 southwest of Capernaum. At the foot of the slope on which it stands is the great plain of Esdraelon.
This was the first miracle of raising the dead our Lord had wrought, and it excited great awe and astonishment among the people. [Source: Study Light]
Nain is surrounded by Mount Tabor on the east, Mount Carmel on the west, the Plain of Esdraelon to the north, and the Plain of Sharon to the south, and it is on the northern slope of the Hill of Moreh facing west toward the Jezreel Valley. Nain is also southeast of Nazareth and southwest of the Sea of Galilee. Nain is at the North base of the hill called Little Hermon. It is a short distance from Shunem, where Elisha performed a similar miracle. The burial ground where the young man was being carried when Jesus raised him lies just outside of the city wall. [Source: Squidoo]
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