Generally when Jesus works a miracle, he responds to an act of faith. In today’s gospel, however, he reacts spontaneously to help the widow. Her loss is devastating; she has lost her only son. A mother’s loss of her child is always painful, but the loss of an only child is even more so. Moreover, in Jesus’ time widows were in a precarious position financially. They were totally dependent on their sons. Now the widow of Naim was all alone without any solid means of support—without a husband or a son.
But there is something else here. We wonder: did Jesus see in the body on the litter his own body on the cross? Did he see in the broken-hearted mother of Naim the broken-hearted Mother of Calvary? And, for the widow of Naim, did he do what he would want to do for his own Mother? “Do not weep. Young man, arise.”