Homily for tenth Sunday year C03 Jun 2016, by Sermons in
In our readings today, God shows himself as the God who restores all things, even life. The first reading is about the prophet Elijah and the widow of Zarephath; it was the drought as pronounced by the same prophet. To protect and provide for the prophet, God made a provision for him at Zarephath, a Sidonia town, and God choose a destitute widow as his instrument to provide. That is our God for you; he can use anything he wishes to carry out whatever he wants to do; he can use even your enemies to bless you as he did in Egypt when he liberated the Israelites from the Egyptian power. He even created the world out of nothing; that is how powerful he is. He chooses a poor widow to provide for his prophet; he is indeed the provider. Elijah met this woman at the city gate and begged her for a cup of water; without any form of hesitation, the woman turned to do as the prophet had requested, but the prophet quickly demanded more than just water by asking for a morsel of bread. To this request, the woman, a poor widow, answered by telling the prophet how poor she was, but Elijah reminded her of what the word of God says, that the jar of meal shall not be spent, and the cruse of oil shall not fail, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth. So, the prophet lodged in her house.
It happened that the Son of this woman fell ill and died; she felt so bad and blamed the death of her son on the presence of the prophet. Take note of what I said, that the woman blamed the prophet’s presence and not the prophet directly; in fact, she blamed herself. For her, a prophet is a man of God, a holy man. Indeed, the woman knows that the prophet did not kill her son, but she believes that the presence of the holiness of this man of God brought home her sinfulness, and her Son was therefore killed in punishment. She cried out, What quarrel have you with me, man of God? Have you come here to bring my sins home to me and to kill my Son?
Most times in our world today, when we face calamities, we are tempted to blame others or blame God immediately. We are very quick to remind God of how faithful we have been to him and question his own faithfulness. But this woman did not question God’s faithfulness; she instead recognized her own unfaithfulness and only blamed the prophet for making her past visit her. But that was her own thinking, that was how she felt, but God does not use our past against us as long as we truly repent of them. He is a faithful and merciful God, and he showed the power of his mercy by restoring the child to the woman through the prophet.
As the prophet raised the child with the power of God, the woman said, Now I know you are a man of God and the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth itself. Yes, the word of God is truth. Paul boasted of the power of the word of God in our second reading this morning, he says, The Good News I preached is not a human message that I was given by men; it is something I learnt only through a revelation of Jesus Christ. God’s message is still as powerful as it was in Elijah and Paul; the word of God still stands against whatever stands against his people. The word of God still stands for you, and against your enemies, we only need to believe that God knows us through and through, that he knows what our needs are before we ask. That is what he showed in our gospel reading today.
Jesus was in a town called Nain, accompanied by his disciples and a significant number of people. At the gate of the city, he noticed that a dead man was carried out for burial, and only Son of a widow. When Jesus saw the widow, he felt sorry for her just as the widow in our first reading was shown mercy. “Do not cry he said. Then he went up and put his hand on the bier, and the bearers stood still, and he said, ‘Young man, I tell you to get up.’ And the dead man sat up and began to walk, and Jesus gave him to his mother.”
A widow’s dead Son was restored in our first reading, and in our gospel reading, another widow’s dead Son was also restored. God is still the same; he is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He can even raise whatever is dead in our lives today; we only need to trust the word of God as Paul trusted it as the message of God.
As we celebrate today, we pray for courage to recognize and accept our mistakes and the faith to embrace the mercy and love of God through Christ our Lord.