But that's not what I want to talk about this morning actually. :-)
I'm unable to attend Mass today because I've come down, quite suddenly yesterday afternoon, with a chest cold, or something like that. I feel OK but I can't talk, laryngitis big time. I just don't want to go and pass it on to the people at church.
Since I can't go to church I read the readings for Mass and am pondering the deep love Christ has for us all, the compassion he shows, the understanding of our need. The gospel today is the story of the widow of Nain.
11 Soon afterward[a] he went to a city called Na′in, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. 12 As he drew near to the gate of the city, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a large crowd from the city was with her. 13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14 And he came and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15 And the dead man sat up, and began to speak. And he gave him to his mother. 16 Fear seized them all; and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” 17 And this report concerning him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.
The first reading is from the book of First Kings 17:17-24 and is similar:
17 After this the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became ill; and his illness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. 18 And she said to Eli′jah, “What have you against me, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance, and to cause the death of my son!” 19 And he said to her, “Give me your son.” And he took him from her bosom, and carried him up into the upper chamber, where he lodged, and laid him upon his own bed. 20 And he cried to the Lord, “O Lord my God, hast thou brought calamity even upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son?” 21 Then he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried to the Lord, “O Lord my God, let this child’s soul come into him again.” 22 And the Lord hearkened to the voice of Eli′jah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. 23 And Eli′jah took the child, and brought him down from the upper chamber into the house, and delivered him to his mother; and Eli′jah said, “See, your son lives.” 24 And the woman said to Eli′jah, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.”
These two stories confirm and assure me that God will raise us all up at the last day, we will not be left decaying in the earth but will be raised up to new life as the Lord has promised us. Our loved ones who have died are not lost to us forever but will be reunited with us, restored to life and with perfect and glorified bodies. Of course the greatest example and sign of this wonderful truth is the resurrection of Jesus himself, which we celebrate each Sunday at mass.
An Act of Spiritual CommunionMy Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen