Today is Tuesday 19 September, in the 24th week of Ordinary time.
The Cape Town Camerata sings, Ubi Caritas: ‘Where charity and love are, God is there.’ Where do you recognise charity and love around you today? Can you meet God there?
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor. Exsultemus, et in ipso jucundemur. Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum. Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero. Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. Amen.
Where charity and love are, God is there. Christ's love has gathered us into one. Let us rejoice and be pleased in Him. Let us fear, and let us love the living God. And may we love each other with a sincere heart. Where charity and love are, God is there. Amen.
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Luke.
Soon afterwards he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went with him. As he approached the gate of the town, a man who had died was being carried out. He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow; and with her was a large crowd from the town. When the Lord saw her, he had compassion for her and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’ Then he came forward and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, ‘Young man, I say to you, rise!’ The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized all of them; and they glorified God, saying, ‘A great prophet has risen among us!’ and ‘God has looked favourably on his people!’ This word about him spread throughout Judea and all the surrounding country.
Today we will imagine this gospel scene. If you find this difficult at any point, you might like to pause the recording to check in with yourself and God. You might want to simply reflect on Jesus’ compassion and kindness in this scene.
In your imagination, place yourself within the crowd at this funeral. A young man, the only son of his mother. Listen to the voices around you. What is it like to be there?
The mother has known loss before… she is a widow. Picture her by the funeral bier of her son, surrounded by the crowd of mourners. What is she wearing… what is she doing?
As you stand beside the widow now, how do you feel?
…What would you like to say to her?
Now watch Jesus arrive, full of compassion for the widow… notice his facial expression…how he reaches out to her… listen to his voice as he says, “Do not weep.”
What do these words mean to you today?
As you listen to the second part of the reading again, remain close to the widow, and watch Jesus.
As Jesus says, ‘Young man, rise,’ the dead man sits up, begins to speak, and the people are both seized by fear and full of praise to God.
What impact does this encounter have on you today?
Spend the last few moments of your prayer speaking with the Lord about how you have experienced this encounter today.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.