When I was eighteen, I began studying at Arizona State University. In the sea of 65,000 students, I no longer had a name. I became a number: #1200045547. I did not write my name on assignments, nor did I know my professors. I was just another face in the crowd.
Do you ever feel as though God has so many souls to care for, people with troubles much more serious than yours, that you must be far down on His "list"? I wonder if the widow at Nain whom we encounter in the Gospel today ever felt this way. (See Luke 7:11-17.)
Her husband died, and she was left with her son. Tragically, her son—her only protector, provider, and companion—died as well. I imagine she felt excruciating grief at the reality of having to live alone with no family to care for her. She must have shuffled through the funeral procession utterly devastated.
When Jesus looked upon this crowd, He did not see a sea of people. Our God is a God of intimacy.
As Jesus stood witnessing the procession, He knew the personal needs, sorrows, and joys of each individual. And in approaching her, Jesus showed that none of us is or will ever be a number or a face in the crowd to Him.
You are not just another person in the world—your life matters, your prayers are heard. He sees you. As you go about your day, He walks with you. When you attend Mass, you are not just another face the priest sees. Your presence in God's house is individually recognized and rejoiced in by God Himself.
Christ cares for us uniquely and individually, and He knows of our suffering. He holds the sun and the stars at the same time that He holds our hearts. He wants to reveal His presence in our lives, hold our faces in His hands and speak peace, "Do not weep" (Luke 7:13). Just as He did with the widow, He wants to meet us right where we are.
We can turn to Our Blessed Mother for comfort and confidence in her Son's love. This beautiful hymn's lyrics and ancient prayer speak right to this in our hearts.
Emily Wilson Hussem planned her whole life to become a sports reporter but turned out to be a Catholic musician and speaker at the hand of God. She lives out of her suitcase and travels across the world speaking to people of all ages. The heart of her ministry is offering encouragement to teen girls in search of their true identity, and she loves every second of it. She is the author of I Choose the Sky and Go Bravely. You can find out more about her here.