1 Kings 17:17-24; Psalm 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11, 12, 13; Galatians 1:11-19; Luke 7:16; Luke 7:11-17
Widows were not merry in Sacred Scripture. A widow was in real trouble if she did not have an adult son or another male in the family to care for her. In reaching out to two heartbroken widows who have lost their sons, God shows divine compassion.
The widow of Zarephath thinks Elijah caused her son’s illness as a punishment on her. “Why have you done this to me, O man of God?” she asks. “Have you come to call attention to my guilt and to kill my son?” But Elijah takes the boy and calls on God for help. God responds, restoring the child to his mother. In turn, she professes Elijah to be a man of God who speaks God’s word.
The widow of Nain says nothing to Jesus. Seeing her tears, Jesus acts compassionately, calling the boy back to life and restoring him to his mother. Those present recognize him as a prophet, as God visiting the people.
How can we “visit God’s people”? Especially consider the many women who see their children die before them of disease that could be averted or cured or because of genocidal wars.