Tuesday, September 16, 2014
24th Week in Ordinary Time
Sts. Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian
1st Reading: 1 Cor 12:12-14, 27-31
Gospel: Luke 7:11-17
Jesus went to a town called Naim and many of his disciples went with him – a great number of people. As he reached the gate of the town, a dead man was being carried out. He was the only son of his mother and she was a widow; there followed a large crowd of townspeople.
On seeing her, the Lord had pity on her and said, “Don’t cry.” Then he came up and touched the stretcher and the men who carried it stopped. Jesus then said, “Young man, awake, I tell you.” And the dead man got up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. A holy fear came over them all and they praised God saying, “A great prophet has appeared among us; God has visited his people.” This news spread out in the Jewish country and the surrounding places.
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
While lining up for my turn to dip in the public bath at the Lourdes grotto in France in 2005, I saw a young man lying on a bed and wheeled to the queue for his turn to dip in the public bath. He was not moving, and the color of his face was gone.
Looking at him, I remembered today’s Gospel reading. That man must have been as young as the man inside the coffin brought back by Jesus to life. The lady behind the bed must have been his mother, probably a widow too.
I was curious what would happen after he dipped in the bath. Two extreme possibilities came to mind. The first: a miracle happens and he comes out of the bath on his feet. The second: he dies of the cold as all those dipping in the waters were required to go in their birthday suits.
But none of the possibilities I had in mind happened. He was in the same condition as he came in. Something inside me was protesting. If it was difficult for me to get to Lourdes, how much more difficult it was for that sick boy to get to the place. And yet he did not get even but an ounce of cure.
My heart sank to my boots as I was reflecting on the plight of the boy. I almost missed the glow in the face of the mother and the satisfaction with which she wheeled her son back to the grotto to thank the Blessed Virgin. A different miracle happened, not the one I expected.
When we always look for the spectacular, we miss the glow of the ember of faith. Only a man of faith can see miracle in what faithless mortals recognize as disappointing. The man without faith is bound to find lots of disappointment in this world.
This is why Pope Benedict XVI’s teaching on faith as a lifestyle is as relevant as ever. Faith is not a one-day project. It has to be built up daily by acts of surrender as we rub our grains against the whetstone of trials in the darkness of human disappointments. – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.frdan.org.
Prayer for the day: God our Father, teach us to find you in the ordinary events of life so that following your will we may attain eternal life through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: Sts. Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop. Cornelius was elected Pope in 251. A dispute arose in Africa concerning those who betrayed their faith. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, proposed to welcome the repentant apostates back after doing penance. When the pope consented, Novatian rebelled and appointed himself antipope. In 253, Emperor Gallus began a new persecution. Cornelius was exiled and died of hardships. In 258, Cyprian was asked to worship the emperor. When he refused, he was sentenced to die. Cyprian gave 25 gold pieces to the executioner and knelt at prayer before receiving the death stroke.