24th Week in Ord. Time, Tuesday – 15th September 2020 — Gospel: Lk 7,11-17
Recognizing His credibility, continuity and identity
In the story of the raising of the widow’s son, Jesus establishes his credibility, continuity and identity. Luke provides many witnesses to this event. First of all, Jesus goes to Nain in the company of his disciples and with a great crowd. And then the local people in large numbers follow the son’s bier from the city. When the two groups meet at the city gate, we find that “the Lord” moves with compassion and acts. In their midst, Jesus established his credibility of manifesting God’s mercy, even at death, for the marginalized and the poor, which he had spoken earlier in Nazareth. His continuity is established by fulfilling God’s purpose of healing and saving people without discrimination. Like God, Jesus sees the people in their own reality and enacts mercy. His identity is established by the acclamation of the crowds that Jesus is indeed a great prophet and in him God is truly “among his people”. In continuity with the prophets of old, Jesus brings God’s great gifts and mercy to the surprising recipients. Though the crowd may not be fully aware of Jesus’ identity, yet they are able to recognize that Jesus is called and empowered by God, and who continues to share God’s saving work among his people.