In the liturgy of the 10th Sunday we are told about two young men who have died.
In both situations there is a prophet present: Eliah and Jesus of Nazareth.
The Church invites us to be compassionate like Jesus, who felt compassion for the suffering of the widow of Naim
We may also reflect on how do we see the reality of death. In the Muslim mystical tradition there is a story which shows a deep insight into the reality of death: Abraham was already very old and he saw an angel coming toward him. Looking at the angel Abraham realized that it was not the angel of life he had met many years before, but the angel of death. Abraham asked the angel "Have you seen a friend wishing the death of his friend? Then the angel asked him another question "Have you ever met a lover who does not want to be with the beloved? then Abraham told the angel "Angel of death, take me."
THE BOOK OF KINGS
ü In our Bible the two books of King come after the two books of Samuel.
ü In the Hebrew bible these four books are called "Melakim= Kings."
ü In the Greek translation of the Bible called the LXX and in the Latin translation called Vulgate, the two books of Samuel are called First and Second Kings and the two books of Kings are called Third and Fourth Kings
ü These four books are part of the Deuteronomistic HIstory which goes from the arrival at the promised land(Josuah) to the Babilonian exile (587 B.C.)
ü The theology of the deuteronomistic history has four main points:
v Monotheism = Believing in the existence of only one God
v Messianic hope: the promise and the hope in a future liberator of Israel.
v Institutions: the King is the representative of God. The temple is the place of the divine presence. The priest shares in the holiness of God and he is the mediator before God. The Law is the expression of the divine will.
v Exile, Is the exile a beginning or and end. The deuteronomistic interpretation of history is as follows: sin, punishment (exile) and conversion (return from exile.)
FIRST READING 1 Kings 17:17-24
Ø The story we read this coming Sunday is found in the part of the book called "Cycle of the prophet Elijah."
Ø If we read chapter 17 from the beginning we will see that a widow of Zarephath has welcomed the prophet into her home.
Ø Elijah asks the woman for something to eat, and tells her that the oil and the flour will last until the rain comes.
Ø Now something very painful happens in the widows household, her only son dies.
Ø She asks Elijah if he has come to remind her of her sins. It seems that she believes they are the reason for her son's death.
Ø Elijah takes the child uptairs into his room.
Ø And he speaks to God with a great familiarity. And God listens to him and gives the life back to the child.
Ø This helps the woman to believe in what Elijah has been teaching her, and she recognizes that Elijah is the prophet of the true God.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 30
I WILL PRAISE YOU, LORD, FOR YOU HAVE RESCUED ME
I praise you, LORD, for you raised me up
and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O LORD, my God,
I cried out to you for help and you healed me.
LORD, you brought my soul up from the nether world
you let me live, from going down to the pit.
Sing praise to the LORD, you faithful;
give thanks to his holy memory.
6For his anger lasts but a moment;
his favor a lifetime.
At dusk weeping comes for the night;
but at dawn there is rejoicing.
Hear, O LORD, have mercy on me;
LORD, be my helper.”
You changed my mourning into dancing;
O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.
GOSPEL Lk 7,11-17
v Jesus arrives at the town of Naim the people of the place are carrying a young man, who had died, to be burried.
v This young man, is the only son of his mother, who is also a widow. From now on she will be part of the poorest of the poor. A woman in that society needed the protection of a man: father, or husband or adult son.
v Luke says that when the Lord saw her he was moved to compassion, and he said to the woman "do not cry."
v Jesus has words that make what they say, do not cry because I am going to change "your mourning into songs of liberation, of joy."
v Jesus touches the coffin and commands with authority "Young man, I tell you arise"
v Elijah cried out to God asking him to give back the soul to the child, so that he could live again. Jesus, on the contrary, speaks with authority, he gives back the life to the child by his own power.
v And Jesus gives the young man alive to his mother.
v A feeling of admiration and of fear seizes the people. They have just experienced the power of God, they are joyful but they also experience a great fear. They have experienced the presence of God in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, because only God can give life. We have talked in other occasions that the presence of God is attractive, fascinating but it also produces in us fear.
v Jesus makes the Father present to those men and women of Naim. And he does so through an act of compassion.
v The text ends saying that this report about him spread to the whole of Judea.
v We are called to be like Jesus. We are called to show compassion, kindness toward every person we meet, every one who experiences suffering needs a friendly hand, a word of comfort.
SECOND READING Galatians 1:11-19
· Paul tells us that the Gospel he preaches is not of human origin, but that it was revealed to him by Jesus Christ.
· Where? On the road to Damascus. He goes on reminding the communities of Galatia his former life persecuting the Church.
· But when God who had chosen him from his mother womb was pleased to reveal to him his Son Jesus Christ risen from the dead, Paul changed immediately his way of life and his relationship with God.
· And this is the gospel he preaches to them.
· To reassure them of the authenticity of the gospel he preaches he tells them that after three years in Arabia he went up to Jerusalem to meet Peter and James, who approved his preaching.
· Paul experiences himself called from his mother womb. We are all called not from our mother's womb but before we have been conceived. We have been always in the heart and mind of God, who wants us to be the image of his beloved son.
This time, it happened to me while I was so afflicted for the things I have mentioned above – and many other more who made me so disgusted – Our Lord told me with great affection: “Why are you so afflicted, my poor daughter? “Then it came to my mind how well this great, omnipotent Lord fulfills his words, and that the one who took care of maintaining four little ants that we were before has the power to sustain four thousand spouses of His and the whole world as he is actually doing. O, what consolation and trust these words give! Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian MIssionary Sisters, Autobiography 90.
Lord, I want to know nothing but your holy will, that I may do it, and do it, Lord, as perfectly as possible. I want nothing but you yourself, Lord, and in you-and only through and for you--all other things. For you are all I need. You are my Father, my friend, my brother, my spouse, my all. I love you, my Father, my strength, my refuge, and my consoler. Make me love you, Father, as you love me and wish me to love you. I know, my Father, that I do not love you as I ought, but I am quite sure that a day will come when I will love you as much as I desire to because you will grant me the love I ask through Jesus and Mary. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian MIssionary Sisters. Autobiography 445.
CLARET, Antonio María , Autobiography.
PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiography.
PAGOLA, José, Following in the Footsteps of Jesus. Meditations on the Gospels for Year C. 2012.
RAVASI, Gianfranco, Según Las Escrituras, Año C, 2006
SAGRADA BIBLIA - Versión oficial de la Conferencia Episcopal Española.