a dead man was being carried out. He was the only son of his mother, and she was a widow
; there followed a large crowd of townspeople.
On seeing her, the Lord had pity on her and said, “Don’t cry.” Then he came up and touched
the stretcher, and the men who carried it stopped. Jesus then said, “Young man, I say to you,
wake up!” And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.
A holy fear came over them all, and they praised God saying, “A great prophet has appeared
among us. God has visited his people.” This news spread throughout Judea and the
The story of the widow of Nain appears only in Luke’s Gospel. This widow did not seek out
Jesus’ help. Jesus and his disciples came across the funeral procession for her son.
That the deceased was the woman’s only son is important. With neither husband nor child
to provide for her in her old age, the widow was extremely vulnerable. She would have to
rely on the charity of her neighbors to survive. By raising her son and giving him back to
his mother, Jesus restored her to social and financial security.
We likely encounter vulnerable people every day. Their vulnerabilities may not be obvious.
The people we encounter may be facing job loss, illness, a challenging pregnancy, addiction,
or a family crisis. How can we bring Jesus’ love and compassion to such people? How can
we offer them the support and caring that they need? First, we can recognize their need
without judgment. The vulnerable often feel invisible and judged. By seeing them and reaching
out, we take the first step in restoring them to security. Then we can choose to accompany
them. Walking their difficult path with them, lending our support and assistance with loving
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