The bearers halted.


Saint Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Optional Memorial)


It was her only son, and now he was gone, just as her husband had died a few years earlier.   As she proceeded to the burial place, a large crowd of mourners walked with her.   Loud sobbing and prayers could be heard all around her.   There was so much commotion that few noticed Jesus as he approached the procession.   When he reached the coffin, Jesus touched it—and everything stopped.   Everything changed.

As he did for this widow, Jesus reaches out to touch you too.   How will you respond?   Be open to something unexpected, and don’t ignore the possibility that it might stop you in your tracks.   Be still and pay attention.   Let Jesus show you he is with you.   Stop and listen:   what is he saying to you?   The more you practice this type of attention, the more you’ll recognize how often Jesus reaches out to touch you.   And the more you’ll be able to say,   Okay, I’m going to put aside what I’m doing right now and see what Jesus wants to do.

He may wake you up in the middle of the night.   Right then and there, in the dark, turn your heart to him.   He may lead you to pray for a particular person or situation.   Or he may simply remind you of how much he loves you.   At Mass, perhaps a Scripture passage will suddenly bring clarity to a thorny issue in your family.   Stop and thank him, asking for help in holding on to his word.   In the middle of swirling fears about a health issue, Jesus may bring a burst of his peace into your heart and mind.   Stop and receive it.   Sit quietly with him, and let him calm you.   He is reaching out to you, offering a message, an insight, a touch that will change you.   Don’t miss out.

The woman in today’s Gospel didn’t know what to expect when the coffin halted and she saw Jesus.   But she would never regret stopping.   She received her son back from the dead!   Let her example lead you to watch for Jesus breaking into your life in an unexpected way.   Then see what he does.

“Jesus, thank you for reaching into my busy day and touching me.   Help me to stop and pay attention.   I want to receive all you have for me.”

1 Timothy 3:1-13
Psalm 101:1-3, 5-6

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