Yesterday’s Gospel opened with a scene at the gates of Nain. Jesus and the crowd that followed Him noticed that a man was being carried out of the city when they arrived. This man was the only son of a widowed mother, and so Jesus was moved with pity for this woman who was alone in the world. After telling her to weep no more, he touched the coffin and commanded the young man to arise.
Imagine the joy in the heart of this mother who received her living son in her arms once again. This joy is rooted in a deep love, a love that is also found in the Church. Pope Francis reflected on this in his homily yesterday, and how the Church is much like the widow of Nain:
This dimension of widowhood of the Church, who is journeying through history, hoping to meet, to find her Husband… Our Mother the Church is thus! She is a Church that, when she is faithful, knows how to cry. When the Church does not cry, something is not right. She weeps for her children, and prays! A Church that goes forward and does rear her children, gives them strength and accompanies them until the final farewell in order to leave them in the hands of her Spouse, who at the end will come to encounter her. This is our Mother Church! I see her in this weeping widow. And what does the Lord say to the Church? ‘Do not cry. I am with you, I’ll take you, I’ll wait for you there, in the wedding, the last nuptials, those of the Lamb. Stop [your tears]: this son of yours was dead, now he lives.’
For more on the Church and her relationship to Christ and her children, see Chapter 7 of Blessed John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem, on the dignity and vocation of women.