Theme: THE LORD RAISES THE DEAD TO LIFE!
- 1 Kings 17:17-24;
- Psalm 29 (30): 2. 4-6. 11-13. R/ v. 2;
- Galatians 1:11-19
- Luke 7:11-17
Today is the 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical year C. The readings today tell us that the Lord raises the dead to life!
The gospel today tells us that the Lord Jesus raised the only son of the widow from the dead and gave him back to his mother! In those days a widow without a husband or a son had no breadwinner to provide for her livelihood. And she would not be able to live in a male-dominated society. By raising her dead son to life, Jesus did not only give life to her dead son, but Jesus also gave life to the widow! Thus we read in the gospel:
“Then Jesus went up and put his hand on the bier and the bearers stood still, and he said, ‘Young man, I tell you to get up.’ And the dead man sat up and began to walk, and Jesus gave him to his mother.” (Lk 7: 14-15; SM)
The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us that the prophet Elijah also raised the only son of the widow to life and gave him back to his mother! Again, in those days a widow without a husband or a son had no breadwinner to provide for her livelihood. And she would not be able to live in a male-dominated world. By raising her dead son to Life, Elijah did not only give life to her son, but he also gave life to the widow! Thus we read in the first reading:
“The Lord heard the prayer of Elijah and the soul of the child returned to him again and he revived. Elijah took the child, brought him down from the upper room into the house, and gave him to his mother. ‘Look,’ Elijah said ‘your son is alive.’” (1 K 17: 22-23; SM)
The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm is a thanksgiving for rescue from death! Thus the response:
“I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me.” (Ps 29 (30): 2; SM)
And thus the first stanza from which the response is taken:
“I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me and have not let my enemies rejoice over me. O Lord, you have raised my soul from the dead, restored me to life from those who sink into the grave.” (Ps 29 (30): 2 & 4; SM)
The second stanza (vv. 5-6) invites the whole community to join in to praise and thank God. And the third stanza (vv. 11-13) continues to praise and thank God for rescue from death! (CSB)
The second reading tells us that Saint Paul did not only preach the Good News to the Jews, but he also preached the Good News to the non-Jews, the gentiles, the pagans! The second reading tells us that Saint Paul was called to be an apostle, directly by the Risen Lord! This happened on his way to Damascus to persecute the Christians! It was a conversion experience! Saint Paul was a persecutor of the Church, but after his conversion he became the apostle to the pagans! Thus we read in the second reading:
“Then God, who had specially chosen me while I was still in my mother’s womb, called me through his grace and chose to reveal his Son in me, so that I might preach the Good News about him to the pagans.” (Gal 1:15-16; SM)
Today, the Lord Jesus continues to raise us from the dead, especially through the Sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist!
In the Sacrament of Baptism the Lord raises us from the dead by giving us the Holy Spirit to forgive our sins! Sin brings death; the forgiveness of sins brings life! A life of grace that is even better than the life before sin! That is why we have to preach the Good News to the pagans, so that all may believe and be baptized and be raised from the dead!
In the Eucharist, the Lord continues to raise us from dead every Sunday, by giving us the Holy Spirit to forgive our sins, until the end of time, when all sins will be forgiven and when all will be raised from the dead to live the eternal life of heaven! That is why it is so important that after Baptism we come to Mass every Sunday! And that is why it is so important that we also tell others who are baptized to come to Mass every Sunday!
Today, we thank God the Father for the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ and we ask the Lord to give us the Holy Spirit, so that we may preach the Good News to the pagans, and so that all may believe and be baptized and be raised from the dead! A happy and blessed Sunday to all of you! Amen!
Parish Priest of St Mary, Tawau, Sabah East Malaysia.