10th Sunday in Ordinary Time
We should be dead. In the first reading and the gospel for today, it is clear that there are people who should be dead. The widow’s son raised by Elijah, and another widow’s son raised by Jesus. Both Elijah and Jesus were moved by compassion for the women to give life back to their sons, and give their sons back to them. Jesus even does so by touching the coffin–giving life is something personal for Him.
When Paul writes to the Galatians, he also knows that he has also been given life. He never speaks of how he converted–only of how he has new life. The life Paul had before was only temporary, and would inevitably decay into death. And even then, Paul used that time to give death and pain to others. After his experience on the road to Damascus, Paul was given a life that would not decay–life eternal with Jesus, who touched him, called him by his name, and personally gave Paul life. Having been given life by Jesus, Paul was determined to preach a gospel “not of human origin” but the one given to him “through a revelation of Jesus Christ.”
We are no different from Paul. As much as we may want life, our earthly lives will eventually decay into death. Decaying, earthly life is what we should have by our own merit. But we have been given new, heavenly lives which we can live even now. These lives will not decay, and these lives cannot be a source of death and pain for others. These lives are not our doing, but come from God. We should be dead, but have been given the gift of new life. Now we must ask ourselves how we will use that gift, and how we will thank the Giver.