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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 (1Tim 3:1-13): Beloved, this saying is trustworthy: whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble task. Therefore, a bishop must be irreproachable, married only once, temperate, self-controlled, decent, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not aggressive, but gentle, not contentious, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, keeping his children under control with perfect dignity; for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how can he take care of the Church of God? He should not be a recent convert, so that he may not become conceited and thus incur the Devil's punishment. He must also have a good reputation among outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, the Devil's trap.

Similarly, deacons must be dignified, not deceitful, not addicted to drink, not greedy for sordid gain, holding fast to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. Moreover, they should be tested first; then, if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. Women, similarly, should be dignified, not slanderers, but temperate and faithful in everything. Deacons may be married only once and must manage their children and their households well. Thus those who serve well as deacons gain good standing and much confidence in their faith in Christ Jesus.
Responsorial Psalm: 100
R/. I will walk with blameless heart.
Of mercy and judgment I will sing; to you, o Lord, I will sing praise. I will persevere in the way of integrity; when will you come to me?

I will walk with blameless heart, within my house; I will not set before my eyes any base thing.

Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I destroy. The man of haughty eyes and puffed up heart I will not endure.

My eyes are upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me. He who walks in the way of integrity shall be in my service.
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)