Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tuesday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

(I Corinthians 12:12-14.27-31a; Luke 7:11-17)

"Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage, against the dying of the light."

Poet Dylan Thomas conveys the absolute unacceptability of death. It breaks up our relationships as well as separates our bodies and souls. As one reverend termed it, "Death is THE enemy." Jesus addresses himself to the culprit in today's gospel.

While the widow grieves the loss of her only son, Jesus takes compassion. It is notable that he does not attempt to console her by saying God will provide or by assuring that her son now knows a greater peace. Rather he restores her son to her alive and whole. As the prodigal father says of his formerly wayward son, he was dead and has come back to life.

The faithful know that the sainted dead live on in God’s love, but they should realize that this state is not the fullness of our hope in Christ.  No, we humans –consummate bodily creatures all – look forward to the resurrection of our bodies when we will live in light and beauty.  And if we are now disfigured by disease or even our own compulsions, will we have to feel at loss forever?  No, Christ’s calling us from the dead will give perfect form to each of our bodies.  It is truly an end to prepare for.