Pastor's Desk: 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Welcome everyone. The theme of the First Reading and the Gospel is the power of God to raise the dead to New Life. Looking at the Gospel in particular we see Jesus moved to pity as the body of the young man, the only son of a widow, is carried out for burial. Jesus raises the young man and gives him back to his mother.
This miracle is one of three in the Gospels where we see Jesus show his power over death, and they are a means of preparing the people of his day and us for the resurrection of Jesus. What is very important in this passage is that Jesus is moved to pity by what has befallen the widow. God has compassion for our suffering. So often people feel abandoned by God in their sickness or in their bereavement; but the truth is not indifferent; God sees and feels our pain.
When our loved ones die, as Christians we believe that God will raise them up to life. Not like he did in the Gospel. That young man was restored to life in this world. He would face the finality of physical death once again. But our loved ones are raised by Jesus to a New Life that is beyond this physical reality. Those of us who have experienced the death of a loved one know that the body we bury is not the full story of that person. The essence of them has gone from the body and we feel their supportive presence in a new way. Our faith reassures us that they have gone to a New Life with the Lord, one promised to them on the day of their Baptism.
As we celebrate Cemetery Sunday in different graveyards over these weeks let us remind ourselves of that promise as we remember our dead.