Gal. 5:25-26; 6:1-10; Lk. 7:11-16
This moving passage appears only in the Gospel of Luke. Once again, we see Jesus, whom Luke remembers has an eye for the poor and lowly. Jesus is at the end of His Galilean ministry about to descend to Jerusalem for His cross and resurrection. Up until this time, He has healed, but this is the first instance where He has raised someone from the dead. Fittingly, it is also the first time in which He is referred to as Lord, Kyrios, the name attributed to Him in His Godhead. Only God can give life. The central purpose of this passage is to present us with the object of our faith, that the dead rise to new life in Christ.
This passage also presents to us the meaning of this new life offered us in Christ, in the two proclamations at the end of this passage. The crowd proclaims, “A great prophet has risen up among us.” Christ brings to the world a new prophetic message: the death blow caused by sin is now confronted with a new power. God has acted decisively in behalf of humanity. In the Epistle, St. Paul reminds us that by our faith and baptism, we have entered into this life. We have died to the old law, which could not save us, and live now we live according to the law of Christ, that of love, which has been poured out upon us and which we willingly share with others. We live now, not according to the flesh, but to the spirit. And we must be convinced, as St. Paul urges us, against any discouragement, that the seeds of charity and goodness which we sow, will surely yield a harvest in everlasting life.
They also say, “God has visited His people.” God has sent His Son, and we see this sending and this coming beautifully portrayed by Luke in the Gospel today. In stages, the Lord draws near to Naim, as He draws near to the earthly city. He sees the effects of death and sorrow. He has compassion. He stops. He touches the dead man. He, the Logos, by Whom the world was created, speaks His Word again. The man is restored to life. We must always remember, especially in our day, that God has sent His Son, not an ideology. An ideology cannot have compassion, an ideology cannot give life. Only God can give us these gifts. In the holy Mass, now, He draws near, He has compassion, He stops, He gives life.