Jesus journeyed to a city called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him. 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." He stepped forward and touched the coffin; at this the bearers halted, and he said, "Young man, I tell you, arise!" The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, exclaiming, "A great prophet has arisen in our midst," and "God has visited his people." This report about him spread through the whole of Judea and in all the surrounding region.
Nothing shows Christ's almighty authority, on which we reflected yesterday, clearer than His victory over death. “Young man, I tell you, arise!”
Life brings with it so many defining factors. Death, more than anything else, draws strict and seemingly unsurpassible limits. Nothing causes more helplessness than facing death, a helplessness so bitter that tears well in our eyes, and that its sorrow strikes deeper than every other pain. Jesus weeps too. But not so much because of the unsurpassible power of death, but because of how it destroys our lives. The way in which death strikes down innocent lives, in which it casts dark terror over us, in which grief consumes those who lose a dear one: death is not supposed to rule over us. Death was not part of the masterplan.
Jesus steps into the dramatic scene in which man faces an enemy far too powerful to defeat. What happened at the city walls of Nain, will happen to every person sooner or later. We will all face death. And we all dread its destructive, painful, and dark side. If death were the last word, our life stories would all end horribly. Thus, what we read in the gospel today, speaks to each one of us, it conveys the Good News. For the dramatic event of death does not conclude the story of that young man's life. He lies in his coffin, wrapped in the silence of his death. And yet, words do resound and break into that shadowy silence; words which defeat death. Jesus stepps into the dramatic scene.
When we will face death, He will be there too. When death strikes, He will “step forward.” When death reaches out, He will “touch the coffin.” When death casts us down, He will call for us to arise. This alone would be enough to determine that Jesus Christ is the most important person of our lives. He is the life of your soul. Death cannot defeat Him and thus it will not have you either. That what frightens us most, can be defeated, will be defeated by Him. The shadowy limits of your existence are transfigured by the gleaming light of His Resurrection. His love means life for you. Full life, plenty and rich. Life everlasting. Behold and profess: He is your life!