The Third Sunday of Luke (Luke 7, 11-16)

The Third Sunday of Luke (Luke 7, 11-16)


Father Nikolaos Patsalos


Anyone reading or hearing today’s Gospel (the raising of the son of the widow in Nain) can form their own thoughts and conclusions. One thing which people might think of and wonder about is why God doesn’t show the same compassion in all cases of the loss of a young person and also why there aren’t any such miracles and resurrections in our own day. Many people are confused by this and some find it a challenge to their faith.

But the fact that young people are being lost today doesn’t mean that God is uncompassionate and harsh. It’s simply that, in these cases, human reason is unable to comprehend God’s compassion, which transcends our ways of thinking. We’re unable to recognize God’s compassion in an ‘unfair’ event.

The fact that God is compassionate and patient is a given. On the other hand, this doesn’t mean that His mercy and patience extend to a positive response to something that we consider good, fair and desirable. This is why we see that God doesn’t always give a positive answer to what we desire and wish for. Sometimes, for example, miracles do occur which save young people from mortal danger and other times they don’t.

One thing’s certain. These things aren’t determined by us or by our reasoning. This is because we’re insignificant beings and are unable to control the life which we didn’t create. And it’s not unreasonable that miracles such as the one we encounter in today’s Gospel reading don’t occur today, because our faith isn’t strong enough to make them happen .

May God’s compassion always enfold us, whatever happens to us, wherever we are and whatever we do.





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Pemptousia and OCN have entered a strategic partnership to bring Orthodoxy Worldwide. Greek philosophers from Ionia considered held that there were four elements or essences (ousies) in nature: earth, water, fire and air. Aristotle added ether to this foursome, which would make it the fifth (pempto) essence, pemptousia, or quintessence. The incarnation of God the Word found fertile ground in man’s proclivity to beauty, to goodness, to truth and to the eternal. Orthodoxy has not functioned as some religion or sect. It was not the movement of the human spirit towards God but the revelation of the true God, Jesus Christ, to man. A basic precept of Orthodoxy is that of the person ­– the personhood of God and of man. Orthodoxy is not a religious philosophy or way of thinking but revelation and life standing on the foundations of divine experience; it is the transcendence of the created and the intimacy of the Uncreated. Orthodox theology is drawn to genuine beauty; it is the theology of the One “fairer than the sons of men”. So in "Pemptousia", we just want to declare this "fifth essence", the divine beaut in our life. Please note, not all Pemptousia articles have bylines. If the author is known, he or she is listed in the article above.