In Galatians, Paul is challenged to defend his preaching of the Gospel as an apostle of Christ. He emphasizes his direct call from God and then tells of his meetings with apostles Peter and James for the life and work of the church.

Luke’s Gospel parallels the miracle in the first reading. Journeying to the city of Nain, Jesus comes upon the funeral of an only son of a widow. Compassionately, Jesus says to the widow, “Do not weep.”

Jesus touches the coffin and says, “Young man, I tell you arise!” The dead man sits up and begins to speak. Jesus gives him to his mother and they all celebrate.

While the Gospel says fear seized those who witnessed the miracle, this fear didn’t mean fright. More accurately, it meant being in awe and part of something beyond ordinary experience or understanding. Witnessing this miracle of Christ’s love and power, words seemed inadequate, but it prompted people to praise and adore God.

We experience Christ’s life-giving touch as well. He touches what is dead in us through the sacraments, particularly penance and Eucharist, and transforms us by his grace. The immensity of Jesus’ love for us is beyond our comprehension. Daily, in all our needs, Jesus pours himself out for us – giving us grace, consolation, peace, mercy and, above all, love.

“Heart of Jesus, fountain of life and holiness, have mercy on us.”