Liturgy: Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost - Young Man, I Say to Thee, Arise

September 08, 2023

Today’s Gospel is about the raising of the widow’s son at Naim. Our Lord, seeing the mother’s grief, is touched with compassion.

Going up to the body and touching it, He says: “Young man, I say to thee arise,” and immediately “he that was dead sat up and began to speak.” And all present “glorified God, saying: ‘A great prophet is risen up amongst us, and God hath visited His people’.”

The Word in becoming flesh, has drawn near to souls lying in the death of sin, and moved by the tears of our mother, the Church, has raised them to the life of grace; and in the Eucharist, He has placed in their bodies a germ of life, that they may rise again at the last day (Communion).

 “If, says St. Augustine:

"...the raising of this young man from the dead filled his widowed mother with joy, our Mother, the Church, rejoices too, when day by day she sees men rising from the dead. The widow’s son was dead with the death of the body, but these others with the death of the soul. Men outwardly mourned the death of the former which took place before their eyes, but the hidden death of the latter was not cared for, or even perceived by the outside world. He who knew these dead souls cared for them, and He alone knew them, who could restore their life. Did not Jesus say to the young man: ‘Young man, I say to thee, Arise.’ Was not this young man restored to his mother? In the same way if he who has committed sin, awakened and trembling at the word of truth, rises again at the word of Christ, he is restored to life. Let him who sees himself lying in this death take means to rise again with speed.”

Source: Dom Gaspar Lefebvre, OSB, 1945, adapted and abridged.