God cares for us especially while we struggle, and struggles affect parents and children alike. In today’s Gospel, we hear about the widowed mother from Nain, who encounters Jesus during the funeral procession for her only son, who had just passed away. What happened when Jesus saw her and stopped the funeral procession shows us first of all, how much compassion the Lord had for her! St. Luke specifically tells us that Jesus had compassion on her – not only for losing her son, but that she would be an outcast in society and dependent upon financial support from others.
Compassion is a theme in two other two Resurrections recorded in the Gospels: the raising of Jairus’ daughter and the raising of Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha. Jesus raised this young man of Nain from the dead because of His pity for the mother. He Jairus’ daughter from the dead out of compassion because of the tears of Jairus and his wife. And He raised Lazarus from the dead because he was moved by the grief of the two sisters, Martha and Mary. For Lazarus, we are even told that “Jesus wept” when he saw the sorrow of Mary and Martha, even though He knew that He was going to raise Lazarus and they would be sorrowful no more.
What does this story mean for parents especially? As parents, we are concerned about many things in our families: health, finances, employment, and every little detail pertaining to our children. But we can learn from the way Jesus had compassion on the widow that He is not only a powerful God, but a God who loves us and knows our worries and concerns. He is sorrowful with us when we are sorrowful. He promised: “I will be with you always, even until the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:20). Above all, when we are attached by the struggles of life, it’s important to try to remember the Lord’s compassion – for the parents, for the sisters, for the mother, for children, for old people, and even for people who didn’t like Him very much. This Jesus is a great and powerful God, but He is also a loving, merciful, and compassionate God too. He loves you and knows what you’re going through. Stay close to Him and keep your family close. He wants to be close to all of you too!