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Woman, behold your son PDF Print E-mail

09 June 2013: Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

In her moving poem "Firstborn Sons and the Widow of Nain," Irene Zimmerman narrates today's Gospel this way:

Jesus halted on the road outside Nain
Where a woman's wailing drenched the air.
Out of the gates poured a sober procession
Of dark-shawled women, hushed children,
young men bearing a litter that held
a body swathed in burial clothes,
and the woman, walking alone.

A widow then - another bundle
of begging rags at the city gates.
A bruised reed!

Her loud grief laboured and churned in him till
"Halt!" he shouted.

The crowd, the woman, the dead man stopped.
Dust, raised by sandalled feet,
settled down again on the sandy road.
Insects waited in shocked silence.

He walked to the litter, grasped a dead hand.
"Young man," he called
In a voice that shook the walls of Sheol,
I command you, rise!"

The linens stirred.
Two firstborn sons from Nazareth and Nain
met, eye to eye.

He placed the pulsing hand into hers.
"Woman, behold your son," he smiled.