Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Jesus our Life – part two

O Jesus, life of my soul, make me rise each day to a new life of charity and fervor.

Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

The thought that Jesus is our Life shines forth even more in the Gospel (Lk 7.11-16

Soon afterward he went to a city call Na’in,  and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. As he drew near to the gate of the city, behld, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a large crowd from the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said to her, ‘Do not weep.‘ And he came and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, ‘Young man, I say to you, arise.’ And the dead man sat up, and began to speak. And he gave him to his mother. Fear seized them all; and they glorified God saying, ‘A great prophet has arisen among us!’ and ‘God has visited his people!’ And this report concerning him spread through the whole of Judea and all surrounding country. (Second Catholic Edition RSV)

The Master meets the sad funeral procession of a young man. His mother is walking beside the bier, weeping. ‘And the Lord, seeing her, had compassion on her, and said to her: Weep not. And He came near and touched the bier… And He said: Young man, I say to thee, arise… And He gave him to his mother.’ Jesus is our Saviour who sympathizes with us in our trials and uses His divine omnipotence to alleviate them. Today we see Him work a miracle in order to console a widowed mother; He restores her dead son to life. This was an expression of the delicacy of His love for us; but how many others, less visible perhaps but no less full of love and life have surged from His heart!

The Gospel speaks of three who were dead and who were visibly restored to life by Our Lord,

St Augustine tells us,

but He has restored thousands invisibly.

When writing these words, the Saint must have recalled with ineffable gratitude the much greater miracle Jesus had wrought for him, making him rise from the death of sin.

St Augustine and many other saints have been restored to life. If the saints who led lives of innocence attract us so much, those who were brought back from sin have still greater power to encourage us in our struggles. It may be a laborious task for us to overcome pride, sensuality, and all the other passions, but it was no easier for them. They too knew our temptations, struggles and falls; if they overcame them, why cannot we do the same?

Thanks be to God, it is not always a question of having to rise from a life of serious sin, but there is always occasion for a resurrection from our little daily infidelities; if they are not corrected, our fervour in the spiritual life will gradually weaken. In this regard, we need to rise every day, indeed every hour; yet so many times we lack the strength for it. But if we beseech Jesus, our Life, He will touch us with His grace as He once touched the bier of the young man of Nain; He will give us fresh vigour and will put su back again, full of courage, on the way to perfection. The resurrection of the young man was implored by his mother’s tears; let ours be implored every day by the tears of our hearts, by our compunction, humility and trust.

from Divine Intimacy: Meditations on the Interior Life for Every Day of the Liturgical Year, by Father Gabriel of St Mary Magdalen OCD.

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