for Sunday, June 5, 2016
More than likely, if you or I saw someone actually brought back to life after dying, we would have some awe for the person who brought them back to life. These are such unusual happenings that they command our respect and our awe. The story of Elijah in the first reading and of Jesus in the Gospel demand our attention. Our minds are always programmed not to accept such miraculous happenings. Instead, our minds work overtime to find a more rational explanation!
One of the proofs of God's presence in a life is when a person is able to work miracles and healings. We also know that there can be deceptions. One of the ways in which the Church recognizes that a person is a saint, in the official way, is when miracles happen through the intercession of the saint. Many of us have never seen such miracles close up and so they remain sort of hypothetical realities. Some of us have seen and experiences such miracles and believe for sure that God is present and that there is some reality beyond this one and which reaches into our present lives.
The first reading today is from the First Book of Kings and is about the Prophet Elijah. His powers were to strong and remarkable that everyone recognized that somehow he was a Man of God. The closest imagine that we have today, perhaps, was Padre Pio, in Italy, who died only in 1968. His fame had spread far and wide and many people experienced miracles through him, even during his lifetime. As with all such miracle workers, however, many also doubted. With Elijah, even the power of miracles did not help him draw everyone to God.
The second reading is from the Letter to the Galatians and is Paul's account of his own conversion. He wants his readers to be sure that what happened in him was of divine origin and was not simply a human change of mind. God worked mightily in him and made him an apostle. We also can at times feel God touching on us—and most of us resist because such a happening is too far out of our comfort zone. We are much happier living within normal life.
The Gospel from Saint Luke today tells us of Jesus bringing the dead son of a widow from Nain back to life. Once more we are in the presence of a divine reality reaching into ordinary human life. We know that these miracles of Jesus brought him many followers. Often, however, it brought a disbelief on the part of official religion.
Miracles can divide us as they did divide the people in the time of Elijah and in the time of Jesus. We are mostly skeptical about things happening from a divine origin. We don't want to appear fools and people who see miracles all around us.
Who are you? Who am I? Are we ready to believe Jesus? Do we believe that truly there is a God who loves us and works in daily lives, even today? O Lord, open our eyes and our hearts to recognize your presence!
Readings of the day:
First Reading: 1 Kings 17.17-21a, 22-24
Second Reading: Galatians 1.11-19
Gospel: Luke 7.11-17
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: