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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Tuesday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading (1Cor 12:12-14.27-31a): Brothers and sisters: As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit. Now the body is not a single part, but many.

Now you are Christ's Body, and individually parts of it. Some people God has designated in the Church to be, first, Apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers; then, mighty deeds; then gifts of healing, assistance, administration, and varieties of tongues. Are all Apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work mighty deeds? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts.
Responsorial Psalm: 99
R/. We are his people: the sheep of his flock.
Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; serve the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful song.

Know that the Lord is God; he made us, his we are; his people, the flock he tends.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise; give thanks to him; bless his name.

For he is good, the Lord, whose kindness endures forever, and his faithfulness, to all generations.
Versicle before the Gospel (Lk 7:16): Alleluia. A great prophet has arisen in our midst and God has visited his people. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Lk 7:11-17): Jesus journeyed to a city called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him. As he drew near to the gate of the city, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. A large crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, he was moved with pity for her and said to her, "Do not weep." He stepped forward and touched the coffin; at this the bearers halted, and he said, "Young man, I tell you, arise!" The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, exclaiming, "A great prophet has arisen in our midst," and "God has visited his people." This report about him spread through the whole of Judea and in all the surrounding region.

“Young man, I tell you, arise!”

Fr. Joan SERRA i Fontanet (Barcelona, Spain)

Today, two groups of people cross each other's path… One group escorting death; the other one escorting life. A poor widow, followed by her relatives and friends, is carrying out her only son to the cemetery while, suddenly, she sees a lot of people following Jesus. The two groups of people get together and they come to a halt, while Jesus tells the mother who was going to lay her son to rest: “Do not weep” (Lk 7:13). The crowd looked at Jesus, who was not indifferent to that mother's pain and suffering, but feeling deeply sorry for her, He brings her son back to life. For, finding Jesus is to find life, as Jesus said about Himself: “I am the resurrection and the life” (Jn 11:25). St. Braulio of Saragossa writes: “Let the hope of resurrection encourage us, then, because we shall see again those whom we lose here below.”

In reading this fragment of the Gospel about the resurrection of that young man of Naim, we could emphasize Jesus' divinity and stand fast on it, by saying that only God could have brought back life to this young man; but, today, I would rather stress Jesus’ Humanity as, here, we do not see Jesus as a remote being, or as someone very different from us, or even somebody so important that He could not arouse in us the confidence and trust a good friend would.

We, Christians, must learn to emulate Jesus. We must ask God for the grace to be like Christ for others. How wonderful if others could see us as Jesus' very image on this earth! Those who saw St. Francis of Assisi, for instance, were also seeing Jesus' image. Saints are those who carry Jesus in their words and deeds, and imitate His way of doing things and his goodness. Our society needs saints and you can be one in your environment.

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • “Christ is the definitive incarnation of mercy, its living sign.” (Saint John Paul II)

  • “What moved Jesus in all of these situations was nothing other than mercy, with which he read the hearts of those he encountered and responded to their deepest need.” (Francis)

  • “Jesus links faith in the resurrection to his own person: ‘I am the Resurrection and the life’ (Jn 11:25). (…) Already now in this present life he gives a sign and pledge of this by restoring some of the dead to life.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nº 994)