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Christ’s life-giving touch changes us

Based on 1 Kgs 17:17-24; Gal 1:11-19;Lk 7:11-17

This Sunday’s readings speak of life.

In First Kings, after the widow’s complaint, the prophet Elijah prays to God and the widow’s dead son regains the breath of life. Elijah restores the son to the widow. This miracle also gives the widow a second chance, with the help of her son, to hold on to her legal rights, livelihood and identity in the culture that didn’t favor women.

In Galatians, Paul is challenged to defend his preaching of the Gospel as one of Christ’s apostles. He says he received a direct call from God and then tells of his meetings with apostles Peter and James about the life and work of the church.

Luke’s Gospel tells of a miracle similar to the one in the first reading. Journeying to the city of Nain, Jesus comes upon the funeral of an only son of a widow. Compassionately, Jesus says to the widow, “Do not weep.”

Jesus touches the coffin and says, “Young man, I tell you arise!” The dead man sits up and begins to speak. Jesus gives him to his mother and they all celebrate.

While the Gospel says fear gripped those who witnessed the miracle, this fear doesn’t mean fright. It means people were awestruck seeing something beyond any ordinary experience or understanding. Witnessing this miracle of Christ’s love and power, prompted people to praise and adore God.

We experience Christ’s life-giving touch as well. He touches what is dead in us through the sacraments, particularly penance and Eucharist, and transforms us by his grace.

Jesus’ immense love for us is beyond our understanding and imagination. Daily, in all our needs, Jesus pours himself out for us – giving us grace, consolation, peace, mercy and, above all, love.

Heart of Jesus, fountain of life and holiness, have mercy on us!