Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
And it came to pass the day after, that He went into a city called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him, and much people. Now when He came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And He came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And He said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And He delivered him to his mother. And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited His people. (KJV)
The Lord’s Jesus Christ’s Resurrection from the dead is a theme every Sunday in the Divine Liturgy. Jesus Christ’s Resurrection is of paramount importance in the Christian life.
Belief in the Resurrection influences the way a person lives. Jesus Christ’s convincing power over death was established at His Resurrection. The current Gospel preceded Jesus’ Resurrection but offers proof of Jesus’ power over death.
The widow of Nain was faced with a great loss in her personal life. Her only son had died. The widow’s deep sense of grief can only be imagined. The Lord Jesus Christ intervened in the widow’s life and changed it dramatically.
When the widow’s son’s death seemed certain, Jesus’ restored life to the son. The widow’s present and future were changed. The son’s present and future were changed.
Persons embracing the life in the Resurrected Jesus Christ find their lives changed dramatically. Jesus Christ brings hope where there is despair. Jesus Christ brings renewal where there is failure.
When the Resurrected Jesus Christ thrives in the heart, the person’s demeanor and personal relationships change for the better. When resurrection dominates the mind and the way of life, gloom and depression are cast aside.
Death takes on devasting proportions if the mind gives way to it. The Apostle Paul gave perspective to death in his Epistle to the Corinthians. Paul said: “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” (I Cor. 15:19)
The Resurrected Jesus Christ changes the boundaries for believers. Eternal life is opened to believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus changed life’s boundaries for the son of the widow of Nain.
Personal relationships change when the Resurrection is at the foundation of life. Families have reason to think differently when death is replaced with the thought of eternal life.
The present Gospel about the death of the son of the widow of Nain presses believers to think more seriously about Pascha and the celebration of Jesus Christ’s Resurrection from the dead.
The raising of Lazarus is yet another example of Jesus’ power over death. (Jn.11:44) Believers in today’s world have reason to have confidence and faith in the Resurrected Christ.
Hope and joy have a place in the lives of believers even in the darkest circumstances. Hope triumphs when the Resurrected Christ is the Goal, the Guide and Guardian of life.
The Church proclaims the Gospel reading of the death of the son of the widow of Nain to reassure believers to hold firm to hope. The Holy Apostle Paul reassured the Corinthians of Jesus Christ’s Resurrection.
Holy Apostle Paul told the Corinthians: “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.: (I Cor. 15:20) Christ entering the life of the widow and her dead son replaced death with life.
Believers of every generation until the glorious Second Coming of Christ have the opportunity to live with life founded in and guided by the Resurrection. God’s Holy Church proclaims and celebrates the Resurrection throughout the year.
The proclamation of the Gospel and the celebration of the Divine Liturgy enables lives to be enriched and changed with assurance of the existence of life eternal.
Jesus destroyed the barrier of death for the son of the widow of Nain in the current Gospel. Attentive listeners to the present Gospel have the opportunity to assess the contents of the heart, mind and soul.
Believers mindful of the current Gospel are encouraged to make sure the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the framework and foundation for living and for seeking life eternal.
When the Resurrected Christ dominates the heart, mind and soul, Christ’s teachings are paramount in the way life is lived. Christ’s words are cherished and followed.
Joy springs from the Resurrected Christ. The widow of Nain and her son tasted of the joy that comes from the Christ with the power over death. Jesus Christ’s power over death is celebrated each Sunday in the Divine Liturgy.
The Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost. Holy Prophet Hosea. Holy Monk-martyr Andrew of Crete. October 17/30, 2022. Hidden Valley, Pennsylvania.
Father Rodney Torbic