“All Souls” Day

Readings:Is 25:6-9; Rom 5:5-11 (or Rom 5.17-21); Luke 7:11-17
The Lord of the Living
Or, the triumph of life over death
(the resurrection of the son of the widow)

1. This gospel passage – the resurrection of the dead son of a widow – would be better understood and appre-ciated if taken together with preceding story – the heal-ing of the servant of the Roman centurion. Both stories constitute an instructive response to the question posed by John the Baptist in Lk 7:19: “Are the One who is to come, or are to wait for another?” (Are you the Messiah?). These stories reveal to us who Jesus is, and therefore, also his mission.

2. The healing of the centurion’s servant informs us of the universal scope of the mission of Jesus – he offers sal-vation not only to the Jews but to the Gentiles, meaning to all humankind. The true miracle in the story is the faith of the centurion. He understood and accepted that Jesus comes from God, offering healing and salvation to the world, symbolized by the cure of the pagan servant. The fullness of our humanity begins with good works and ends with openness to the saving mystery of God’s love, as it happened to the Roman centurion.

3. On the other hand, the resurrection of the son of the widow reveals Jesus Christ as the Lord of the living. He brings to us the ultimate triumph of life over death.

4. Let us try to deepen our reflection. We believe as Church, as the gathering of believers that the miracles of Jesus, considered in their totality, reflect and antic-ipate the truth of God’s reign, notwithstanding the fact that no one can guarantee the historical basis of each and every miracle. And among those miracles, or signs that best express the identity of Jesus is the resurrec-tion of the widow’s son.

5. Let us look at some of significant elements. The first is that there is a revelation from God. The people cried out: “A great prophet has risen among us. God has visited his people” (7:16). Here we are told something tremendously important: Jesus is the ultimate prophet and he transcends the primitive meaning of the word prophecy. Jesus is not simply one who transmit the word of God, he is the Word of God; Jesus does not only announce the Kingdom of God, he fulfills it by his resurrection and of those who believe in him. Secondly, the young man’s resurrection unveilsthe true meaning of earthly life, namely the beginning of eternal life in God’s kingdom. Heaven begins on earth. And thirdly, the resurrection of the widow’s son gives testimony that Jesus is the Messiah who will guarantee life’s triumph over death.

6. It is life guaranteed by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, that we celebrated yesterday with all the saints in heaven and that we celebrate today with all the faithful departed, as the community that he has gathered in faith. We remember, we believe.