“Young man, I tell you, arise!”

“Do not weep.”

 “Young man, I tell you, arise!”

In the Gospel we hear of the Lord’s divine supernatural power – to restore to life a young man, the only son of a widow.  Indeed, the gospel relates the sad occurrence.  The mother’s support during her elderly years is suddenly taken away.  What grieving, dismay and sorrow filled the hearts of the widowed mother and of all those who had come to Nain to express condolences and participate in the burial rite.  

Jesus suddenly appears at the gates to the town.  He sees the funeral procession and comforts the grieving mother with the words: “Do not weep.”  Jesus then turns toward the deceased young man being carried out for burial and says: “Young man, I tell you, arise.”  The sorrow now turns to joy.  The widowed mother receives back her son and is overjoyed.  She and all those present were in awe in seeing such divine, miraculous power.

This is for those in attendance and for us today a sign, a manifestation of God’s desire for us not to perish, but to live and to live forever with Him in Heaven.  His Resurrection on the third day attests to this.  In the Creed which we recite during the Divine Liturgy, we profess our belief in the life to come, that is, eternal life in Heaven.

The Lord God’s love is infinite, ever-ready to comfort and support, ready to help us in our hour of need. Man was created not to die, but to live.  Death occurred as a consequence of sin, the fall of Adam and Eve.  The sin of disobedience had brought disharmony, pain, suffering and working by the sweat of the brow besides.  God did not abandon the work of His creation, but promised to one day send a Messiah to save mankind from sin.  In the fullness of time, God sent His Only-Begotten Son to redeem us, to open wide the gates to the Kingdom of Heaven.  Jesus took upon Himself the sin of the world to make atonement for sin.

As with a word God created the world and all that’s contained therein, also with a word “Arise” Jesus restores to life the son of a widow in the town of Nain.  And we look forward to the day when we would hear the words of our Lord on Judgment Day: “‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation (creation) of the world.” (Matthew 25:34) What a joyous day it will be for all the faithful servants of the Lord God.

Fr. George Worschak