One Monk of the Order of Saint Benedict

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The Word of God and the Body of God reveal each other -- the homily worships both.

September 18, 2007

For Tuesday of the Twenty-Fourth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Luke 7:11-17

In the holy Gospel according to Luke, today is the first time Jesus raises anyone from the dead.
The witnesses have two things to say.
A great prophet has arisen among us.

God has visited his people.

John the Baptist soon hears of it.
He sends two of his disciples to ask that Jesus either identify himself as the “One Who Is to Come” or tell them to look for someone else.
Instead of giving them an immediate reply, Jesus sets about curing more of the sick, the possessed and the blind.
Then he tells the disciples of John to report to John what they have seen and heard; and he lists for them what they have seen and heard.
First, he lists healings of the body.
Then he names the miracle in today’s Gospel: the raising up of the dead.
It appears to be a logical progression: first, the healings of the body; then, the raising up of the dead.
However, the raising of the dead is not the “grand finale” of the list of “Messianic accomplishments” that Jesus recites for the disciples of John the Baptist.
Here’s the complete list as Jesus puts it.
Go and tell John what you have seen and heard:
the blind receive their sight,
the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed,
and the deaf hear,
[and, finally]

The original language actually says, “The poor are evangelized.”
The progression of Messianic wonders: first, healings; then, raising the dead; finally, evangelization.
As Jesus lists his Messianic accomplishments, he gives the priority to evangelization, rather than to raising the dead.
Not only that, he specifies evangelization of the POOR.
After the crowds in today’s Gospel saw Jesus raise a man from the dead, they carried the essence of evangelization throughout the countryside, saying, “God has visited his people.”
Today, we who are poor in virtue will receive good news in the Body and Blood of the Messiah: “God has visited his people.”
Through the Eucharist, the wealth that is God himself enriches forever those who remain faithful in his service.
God in Christ will raise them from the poverty of death.

That God Be Glorified in All


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