Reflection on Luke 7:11-17

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Our Lord stops a funeral procession and raises a mother’s son from the dead in today’s Gospel (Luke 7:11-17). The detail which stands out in my mind most is that Jesus “touched” the coffin (verse 14). Our Lord could have raised the young man in a variety of ways, for instance, he could have simply called out to him as he did to Lazarus (see John 11:43). But he didn’t, why? Perhaps Jesus is trying to teach us something about our need for contact with him and how we encounter him in the Sacraments. I can know many things about a particular movie actor, even details of his personal life. However, no one would say that we have any sort of relationship unless I have actual contact with the actor and he also learns things about me. Scripture tells us that God knows everything about us, even the number of hairs on our heads (see Luke 12:7). God knows us for sure, but how do we get to know him? We get to know God through our study of Sacred Scripture and the truths of the faith as well as through prayer. Prayer being the two-way communication which makes friendship with God possible. Study and prayer alone are not enough. We also need to have contact with Jesus as did the young man in today’s Gospel. In the Sacraments of the Church we have direct contact with God. Jesus really touches us in each of the Seven Sacraments. This is most clear in the Eucharist though it certainly happens in the other six as well. For this reason, we should frequently let ourselves be touched by Christ as he touched the coffin of the young man, especially in Holy Communion and Sacrament of Penance.

What struck you most about today’s Gospel?

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