Jesus did not act in today’s Gospel because of any one person’s request. Rather, he encountered the burial procession by chance, then spoke and acted from personal desire. What must the mother have thought of Jesus strange admonition not to weep? Before she can even respond to Jesus for what probably sounded to hears as insensitive, she has the overwhelming experience of seeing her son rising out of his coffin.

Jesus’ example shows us that we do not need to wait to be asked to be of service, and that healing can come at any time if we are open to it. The world is full of injustice, natural disaster, and other pains. Opportunities abound and the initiative is ours to take. As each chance to serve in charity and work against injustice arrives, we pray to live with the conviction that Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us, is still doing his work of healing around, within, and through us.

—Mike Tedone, SJ, is a Jesuit Scholastic of the West Province in First Studies at Loyola University Chicago.