Readings: 1 Kings 17:17-24; Galatians 1:11-19; Luke 7:11-17
It would seem that we return to Sundays in Ordinary Time by colliding with a funeral procession. Yet I have to admit that during the last three weeks, as we celebrated Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, Corpus Christi and the Sacred Heart, both the Mass Readings and the preaching didn’t exempt us from our every-day limitations. Rather, I felt, they kept challenging me to see the depth of the “ordinary” and the accessibility–if I’d just permit it–of eternal divinity.
Be it mercy, forgiveness, obedience, vocation, mutuality, community, self-giving, love–all those deep truths we’ve been celebrating–we have been affirmed in that crossroad of time and eternity which is Christianity.
Just in case I missed the point, Jesus and his Apostles pass through a place called Nain and are met by a funeral. No one asks Jesus to do anything and certainly no one is expecting that anything could be done. He simply raises the widow’s dead son to life. Why? He was moved with pity for her–that’s all we are told.
My faith tells me that there’s another reason: he’s the Lord of Life. He is Life, the fullness of Life, all that Life could most fully be. So when he confronts death, this unlimited, undefined, unshackled Life negates death.
It’s not just in the Resurrection, after all these stories are over, that Jesus is Life. He always was. It was not at some magic nanosecond in Holy Week that the Fullness of Life took effect. In the incarnation, through Jesus’ lifetime and throughout his living, his teaching, his healing, his touching, his speaking, his loving, his working, his sleeping, his thinking, his remembering, his caring–think of all the Gospel incidents illustrating each of these–he redeems us.
It all redeems us. By his becoming a human being like each of u, the quality of human life–even the sorrows and losses and pains–acquire a new depth, a new potential, and generate new possibilities. I make all things new.
I can meet God in any, in every aspect of my life even when I fall and sin. We call that conversion and it’s the bedrock of the Gospel. This is the stuff of Ordinary Time; and let us celebrate it!