The readings today leave us with three important lessons.
The first is simply that God has power over death.
Yes Catholics believe that God is stronger than death.
Belief in the resurrection is one of cornerstones on which everything rests.
If you don’t believe that God has power of death,
if you don’t believe that all of us will rise again,
if you don’t believe that you will live forever
then your time would be better spent some place else.
Head over to Josie’s for Breakfast and have some of their great homemade bread or go over to the Timberlin Golf course and play a round of golf.
The fact that God’s power over death puts our life in perspective
It helps us understand what is really important.
In the first reading Eliajh raises a widow’s son from the dead.
In the Gospel Jesus does the same.
Most of the time our resurrection happens in the next world but these scriptures remind us that God can certainly raise a person from the dead even in this world. Jesus himself was raised from the dead.
These scriptures and our eyes of faith teach us that Death has no real power over us.
With eyes of faith we can see so clearly that death is nothing more than a paper tiger.
It is simply a door from one life to the next through which all of us will one day pass.
The second lesson is as simple as the first.
Not only does God have power over death but He also has power over how we live.
St. Paul hated the followers of Jesus he seemed consumed with anger and bitterness toward them.
His heart was filled with self-rightous indignation
He made it his mission to seek them out and prosecute those who chose to follow Christ.
He did everything in his power to stomp out the little community of believers that was blossoming all over palestine.
And yet God reached down and and changed Paul’s hardened heart.
Just like God changed Pauls heart,
God can change my heart or your heart.
God can change the heart of someone in our family
God can free us from our prejudices.
He can help us save our marriages even if they seem beyond repair
He can challenge us to be better people.
He can free us from our addictions and our shame.
God can open our eyes to the truth and challenge us to follow it.
He did it for Paul and he can do it for us.
Yes God is indeed powerful, powerful over death and powerful over life.
Finally, the first reading and the Gospel illustrate so clearly for us the loving compassion of God.
Elijah and Jesus could just not bear to see those two widows mourn the loss of their sons. They couldn’t bear it.
During the time of Jesus a widow was the poorest of the poor
Widows had no rights and no way to sustain themselves.
Their Son’s death could have very well meant their own death.
Jesus and Elijah didn’t just say oh I’m sorry I’ll say a prayer for you.
They sprang into action and they turned to God for help.
We all need to be more compassionate people.
With the incarnation our compassionate God jumped into all of our messes
He didn’t just look on and say what a shame
I’ll just stand by and see when they get it right.
No God but up his sleeves and started to help
The world would be such a different place if everyone showed more compassion
Jesus did and so must we.
Let us try to begin to look at death with the eyes of faith.
Let us trust that God can change our lives like he changed Paul’s
Like Jesus and Elijah let us be more compassionate people willing to get involved in the lives of those in need even or especially when it’s messy and difficult.