Gal. 5:25-26; 6:1-10; Lk. 7:11-16
This moving passage appears only in the Gospel of Luke. Our Lord is at the end of His Galilean ministry, and about to descend to Jerusalem where he will undergo His cross and resurrection. Today’s Gospel sheds light on the meaning of His paschal mystery.
Up until now, He has healed, but this is the first instance where He has restored life, where He has raised someone from the dead. Fittingly, this is also the first time in which He is referred to by His messianic name, 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 meaning of His cross and resurrection, that the dead rise to new life in Christ
This passage also presents us with the meaning of this new life in Christ, in the two proclamations at the end of this Gospel. The crowd proclaims, “A great prophet has risen 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 new life. We have died to the old law, which could not save us, and now we live according to the law of Christ, that of love, charity, 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. Christ is our hope, our only hope. The seeds of charity and goodness which we sow, will surely yield a harvest in eternal life.
They also say, “God has visited His people.” God has sent us His Son, and we see this sending and this coming among us beautifully portrayed in the Gospel today. In stages, the Lord draws near to Naim, just as He draws near to the earthly city in His birth and incarnation. He sees the effects of death and sorrow. He has compassion. He stops. He touches the dead man. He, the Logos, the Word of God, 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 or a philosophy. An ideology, a philosophy, cannot have compassion, cannot give life. Only God can give us these gifts. In the holy Mass, now, He draws near. He has compassion. He stops. He touches us. He gives us life.