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  • Writer's pictureFr. Scott Haynes

Young Man, I Say To Thee, "Arise!"

A Meditation upon St. Luke 7:11-16

At that time, Jesus went to a town called Naim; and His disciples and a large crowd went with Him. And as He drew near the gate of the town, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a large gathering from the town was with her. And the Lord, seeing her, had compassion on her, and said to her, Do not weep. And He went up and touched the stretcher; and the bearers stood still. And He said, Young man, I say to you, arise. And he who was dead, sat up, and began to speak. And He gave him to his mother. But fear seized upon all, and they began to glorify God, saying, A great prophet has risen among us, and God has visited His people.

Christ had compassion on the widow in this Gospel scene because he saw an afflicted mother weeping over the loss of her only son. Christ has compassion on our Holy Mother the Church as she weeps for the loss of all her sons and daughters who die the death of mortal sin. What pain and sorrow is brought to the Church by her children who are dead in sin!

The children of the Church who are dead in mortal sin once knew the life of grace in Christ. But their death has been no accident. Through mortal sin they have committed spiritual suicide. What a true tragedy! For a Catholic who commits a sin of grave matter, with full knowledge of the mind and complete choice of will cuts himself or herself off from the Body of Christ and dies a spiritual death.

But our Holy Mother the Church has a remedy for her children dead in grave sin. For Christ raised the dead man and brought joy to this mother when He said,
“Young man, I say to thee, arise.”
Just so, Christ, inasmuch says those words to the sinner who has been cut off from sanctifying grace in the sacrament of confession.

Why did Christ say to the widow: “Weep not?” He said this because He wished to moderate her excessive sorrow, and to teach us that we should not mourn for the loss of our relatives, like the heathens who have no hope of resurrection to eternal life (1 Thessalonians 4:13).

Resignation to the will of God, with prayer and good works, will be of more use to the dead than many tears. In like manner Holy Mother the Church maintains a great hope that her children, cut off from the Body of Christ by mortal sin, can be reconciled to Christ and his Church by a good confession. Let us raise up our prayers to God today with the hope that our Christian brethren who are today dead in mortal sin will even this very day be raised to life by Christ through the Sacrament of Confession. Amen.


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