Someone says: ‘In God’s eyes, nobody is nobody, because everybody is somebody.’ There is also another version of this that says: ‘For God, no one is no one because everyone is someone.’
This is certainly realized by Jesus in the gospel today (Lk 7:11-17) by bringing back to life the only son of a widow from Nain, who was dead. In Jesus’ time and culture, widows were largely marginalized, because the cultural expectation was that only men are allowed to own a property. If a widow had a son, she would at least have some bearings in the society. But if the widow had no son, she would have to live in the mercy of others, and also perhaps disdain and ridicule to some.
Jesus would have seen that this cultural expectation is not in accordance to the will of his Father. I would like to imagine Jesus saying: ‘Hang on people, for my Father, nobody is a nobody because everybody is somebody.’ The gospel tells us nothing of this sort. However Jesus did something amazing. He showed a great expression of sympathy by feeling sorry for her, consoling her, and by doing something for her. Because for God, everyone is important in God’s eyes, regardless of gender, social status, age, etc.
He stopped the people carrying the bier, risking being unclean by keeping in contact with a dead body, again according to the cultural expectation at the time. Then he brought the dead man back into life. By doing so, Jesus gives back the woman her bearings, her power, her source of pride and her reason to live.
This gospel though not only shows us that God cares for us as ‘an apple of his eye’, as someone important in his eyes, but more so it shows us three truths: that God has power over death, that God can bring life out of death, and that if we allow God to touch our lives we witness something amazing.
Sometimes we may feel that God doesn’t really care for us. He does, always, it is only that we sometimes don’t care about God. Sometimes, we may feel God is so distant. No, he is always close to us, we just didn’t notice he is there because of the many preoccupations, worldly concerns that keep us busy, and our having no time for God in prayer, in the Mass and in caring for one another. Sometime we may feel God is irrelevant and redundant in our lives. He is always relevant to us. If he is not, we would all die right away because he is the one who gives us life, he is the one who wakes us up every day, he is the one who gives us the food that we need, he is our reason to live.
I pray you all have a grace-filled week.