Thought of the day
Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tuesday of the Twenty-fourth week in Ordinary Time

"Young man, I tell you, arise!"

In the Gospels we find three dead people who are visibly restored to life but thousands who are invisibly so... The synagogue official's daughter (Mk 5,22f.), the widow of Naim's son, and Lazarus (Jn 11)... are symbols of three kinds of sinner that Christ still raises today. The young girl was still in her father's house...; the widow of Naim's son was no longer in his mother's house but not, as yet, in the tomb...; Lazarus had been buried...

And so, there are some people whose sins remain in their hearts but who have not put them into practice... They have consented to sin and death is within their souls but it has not yet been carried outside. Now it often happens... that people experience this in themselves: after hearing the word of God, our Lord seems to say to them: “Arise!” They accuse themselves of the consent they gave to evil and draw breath to live in salvation and uprightness... Others, having given their consent, go so far as deed. They carry out the dead thing hidden in the concealment of their dwelling and expose it before everyone. Are we to despair of them? Didn't our Savior say to that young man: “I tell you, arise!”? Didn't he give him back to his mother? This is how it is with someone who has behaved like that: if he is touched and moved by the word of truth he rises again at Christ's word, he comes back to life. He was able to go a step further along the way of sin but he could not die for ever.

As for those who are so bound fast in evil habits as to their removing even the sight of the evil things they do, they undertake to defend their evil deeds, they are angered if one rebukes them... Such as these, crushed under the weight of a habit of sinning, are as though buried in the tomb... That stone placed over the sepulcher is the tyrannical force of the habit that crushes the soul and doesn't allow it either to get up or to breathe...

Listen, then, dearest brethren, and behave in such a way that those who live, live, and those who are dead revive... Let all those dead people repent... Let those who live preserve that life of theirs and let those who are dead be quick to come back to life again.