Jesus Cares for Us
Who really cares about you in your family?
First Reading: 1 Kings 17:17-24
Jamie looked concerned when the veterinarian took his dog out of the exam room. He looked up at his mother. "Will Fluffy be okay?" His mother sighed, "You heard what the doctor said. No one will know until she does surgery." She squatted and gave him a hug. "I know you love Fluffy. We all do."
Jamie sat in the waiting room for the longest time. He read a book he brought with him. He played a game on his mother's smart phone. He even went over to pet the dog of another owner who waited to see one of the vet's at the pet clinic. Try as hard as he did, he could not stop worrying about Fluffy. Finally, bored, he said in the chair next to his mother and leaned up against her. He started to pray for his dog, for his family, for himself.
After two and a half hours, the veterinarian came into the waiting room. Jamie and his mother sensed the worst until the doctor smiled. "There's no cancer," she said. Those were the words Jamie had hoped to hear. No cancer. He vaguely remembered some of what the vet told his mother; Fluffy would be on medication for a while; no rough play for four weeks; feed him bland food for two weeks, then introduce his regular food. All of that didn't matter. Jamie knew his dog would be home in a few days. He was coming home.
If Jamie felt happy about the health of his dog, imagine what the poor widow felt when Elijah brought her son back to life. Her fear and sadness turned to joy. She was soooo happy because she had her family back. She knew then that Elijah's God could do miracles. The God of the prophet is our God and he can to great things in our lives. He can turn our sorrows to joy, our sadness into happiness.
Bridge Question: What great things can Jesus do?
Gospel: Luke 7:11-17
Jesus went to a city called Nain with his disciples. A large crowd traveled with him. When he got close to the city gate, a man who just died was being carried out of the city. He was the only son of a widow. A large crowd went with her to bury her son.
When the Lord saw the mother, he felt so sorry for her, he said, "Don't cry." He walked up to the burial stretcher and touched it. The men who carried it stopped. He said to the dead man, "Rise up." The man sat up and started to speak. Jesus gave the man back to his mother.
Everyone was amazed and they kept praising God. "A great prophet is with us," some said. "God has looked upon his people," others said. Word about this spread everywhere throughout Judea and the areas around it.
Simon grieved for the loss of his best friend, Judah. They grew up in the same small Jewish village. They played together, worked together, went to the synagogue school together. Then, just a few days ago, Judah came down with a fever. For a while, Simon thought his friends would recover but, the previous night, his friend got much worse and died. The entire village came to Simon's house to mourn. The crying was loud and intense. Simon did not try to hold back his tears. His friend was gone. He, along with several other men in the village, would bear the body of Judah to the family plot and bury him. It was the saddest night in his life.
The next day, everyone rose early for the funeral. Simon prayed for his friend and his mother. He entered his friend's house, placed his friends body on the plank that would carry it, and, with the help of the others, lifted it and began the march to the grave site. Through his tears, Simon sensed someone approach but was startled when that person said, "Stop!" He turned and looked at the man. What this Jesus, the person everyone talked about? This Jesus walked up to Judah's mother and said, "Don't cry." Then, he did something strange, something he never thought he would see in his life. Jesus took Judah's hand and said, "Rise up." And Judah opened his eyes and sat up, just as if he woke up from a nap. Simon went into shock and almost dropped the plank that carried his friend. "Simon," Judah said, "it's alright." Judah jumped off the plank, turned and hugged his friend. Simon dropped his end of the plank, placed both arms around his risen friend and cried, but this time with tears of joy.
Jesus has power to change things around. And, Jesus cares. He cared for the widow who lost her only son and he cares for us. When we feel sad, let's pray to Jesus. He won't let us down.
Closing Question: How has Jesus cared for you and your family?