by Sister Angela Palm
When I was a child, my father died leaving my mother to raise three young children and run a farm. Our community let us know we would not bear our grief alone as they filled our little church and followed us to the cemetery in minus 20 degree weather.
In Sunday's Gospel, we hear of another vulnerable woman, the widow of Naim. As she accompanies her only son's body out of the city (probably to be buried) she is supported by a large crowd of people who walk the journey of grief with her. But her grief was short-lived as Jesus takes pity on her, touches the coffin and raises the dead son. He demonstrates his power over death for all to see.
Naturally, the crowd is startled by this event but they quickly attribute the miracle to God stating, "A great prophet has arisen in our midst," and "God has visited his people."
chapter 18, US Catholic Catechism for Adults
by Sister Mary Kabat
We are well aware of the toll sin takes on the lives of others. We see and hear of sin and its effects every day on the news. We also read about or meet persons who have faced their human weakness and sin and turned their lives to God. St. Paul, St. Augustine, St. Francis and several people I've known whose lives were crippled by their addictions come to mind. Those stories of conversion show us the gifts and graces available to us in the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.
Look at your life. Do you see the toll of sin in how you think about or act toward others? Has your awareness of and connection to God grown weak? Do you long for inner peace and wholeness? God is holding out mercy, love and peace to you through the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.
…May God give you pardon and
peace, and I absolve you from your sins
in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Why is the modern church focusing so much on sin lately.....I believe in the forgiving God and pray that in each Eucharistic Celebration.
Thank you so very much for the beautiful reflection. Your father's death, your mother's and family's poignant struggles, the communal support you experienced at that time are so real. Such a wonderful comparison to the widow of Naim and her supportive community as they experience Christ's love and power.
Yes, we do not have to find the 'needy' around us. If we listen to their stories, they are all around us.