Jesus Christ, The Author Of New Life
Readings: (1st: I Kg 17, 17-24; Ps: 29, 2-6. 11-13; 2nd: Gal 1, 11-19 Gos: Lk 7, 11-17)
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Internacional Grupo Espiritano De Puerto Rico – Republica Dominicana. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today is the tenth Sunday of Ordinary time. One theme that runs through all the readings of today is: “New Life or Restoration to Life.” Every conversion is a gift of new life. It is a new opportunity to continue in God’s mission. It is also like Christ saying to the holy mother church, our mother: “Look your son is alive again.” Thus, changing her mourning into dancing.
Our first reading today recounts the event of how Elijah restored the son of a widow to life. This miracle demonstrates the power of God in his prophet. That is, the power to restore life physically and spiritually. This is especially when all hopes seem to have been lost. The intercession of the prophet for, and on behalf of his people is effective in making all things new. It restores hope. It strengthens faith, and brings back joy to God’s people. God hears and never fails his prophets for the Glory of His own name.
In the second reading, Paul recounts his own conversion. He was dead because his activities as Saul were prompted by his human nature, whereas as Paul, he became fully alive through the grace and love of Jesus Christ. Like Paul, it is through the grace of Jesus Christ that we are restored and live again. Therefore, our life is only but a grace granted unto us. It is granted unto us for a purpose!
Paul was restored to life in order to bear witness to Christ. This was why he said: “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel” (I Cor 16, 19). He was restored to life so that he could become an instrument through which others could be restored to life. He was restored in order to affect others, no more negatively, but positively. He was restored and renewed in order to bring joy, peace and hope unto others, rather than sorrow and hardship.
A close look together at both the first reading and the gospel of today shows that both stories are quite similar and revolve around the same story line – restoration of the son to life. One finds the following similarities: A mother and a widow was involved. A son was involved. The son was dead, a man of God miraculously restored him to life, and ultimately returned him to his mother. The restoration to life in both cases brought joy and provoked praises to God.
Every restoration is a new opportunity given to us in order to do better in life. It is an opportunity to complete our mission here on earth. Each day, Christ restores us to life through the sacraments of life. This is especially, through the sacraments of Penance and the Holy the Eucharist. When Christ restores us to life, he also expects us to live it to the fullest. This means walking in his light and truth. Another purpose for restoring us to life is for us to bring joy to those around us, just as the restoration of these young men became a source of joy for their relatives.
Finally, today the church reminds us that God is the is the author of life. He is the one who through his Son and the Holy Spirit restores and sustains us. So, what we do with this life is very important. This is because, we do not just live for ourselves, but for God. So in appreciation of God’s goodness let us sing with the psalmist: “I will praise you Lord, you have recued me.”
Peace be with you all!