Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost The Gospel Luc. 7. v. 11. Saturday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634
GIOTTO di Bondone
No. 25 Scenes from the Life of Christ: 9. Raising of Lazarus (detail)
GOSPEL ¤ Luke 7. 11-16At that time, Jesus went into a city called Naim: and there went with Him His disciples, and a great multitude. And when He came nigh to the gate of the city, behold a dead man was carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and much people of the city were with her. And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her, and said to her: Weep not. And He came near and touched the bier. And they that carried it, stood still. And He said: Young man, I say to thee, Arise. And he that was dead, sat up, and began to speak. And He delivered him to his mother. And there came a fear on them all: and they glorified God, saying: A great Prophet is risen up amongst us, and God hath visited His people.
We read in the Gospel but of three dead persons that Christ raised to life again.
The first was the Daughter of Jairus, the chief Master of the Synagogue.
The second was this young man.
The third was Lazarus St. Mary Magdalene brother.
The first Christ raised privately in a chamber , shutting the company of doors,and he did it easily without any groan, or touch, only saying Maid arise.
The second, that is to say this, was public in the presence of a great multitude, unto whom he did not only speak the like words as he did unto the other,saying (Young man, I say unto thee, arise) but also touched the Coffin with his hand.
The third having been four days in his grave,and did stink, Christ did groan, and weep over him, and was much troubled, and commanded his disciples when they had opened the grave, to unbind him,being fast wrapped up in his shroud.
These three dead persons, signify three degrees of mortal sin.
The first, inward Consent of heart only, which is private to our selves, not known, nor scandalous to others, and therefore more easily raised to life then the other two, and more private.
The second, the sin of outward act or deed, which is more complete and scandalous abroad unto others, and therefore not remitted, without more difficulty, of penitential deeds, as the second dead person was raised with more difficulty then the first.
The third, an inveterate custom of actual or outward sins, as if a man were buried in sin, as Lazarus was, four days,and his ill example stinking unto others,as Lazarus did.
This sinner is not raised without much sorrow,and contrition of heart, & untying the hard knots and bonds of long custom in which he lieth wrapped up; yet all these three Christ vouchsafed to raise: only one other dead person, that was in some sort entreated to raise, he refused, saying:Let the dead bury their dead,and by this was meant a sinner that admitteth none to be his councilor; but such as will flatter him, and sooth him in his sins; such a dead man God doth not raise,but suffereth the flatterers who are like wise dead with him in the same sin, to bury him in his sin.
Let us therefore fly such flatterers above all things, and love them that in charity reprehend us for our sins.
And when we see our selves, or any other raised from any of these spiritual deaths by the grace of God, as these were from corporal, let us praise and magnify the greatness and goodness of God, as these people did and let us give ourselves, as Christ gave this young man unto his Mother, unto our Mother the holy Catholic Church, with firm purpose to live with her, & under her obedience,and never to die that voluntary death of mortal or deadly sin any more, which if we will, we may by the grace of God, be so happy as to perform.