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Can we raise the dead?

Did you know that the first president of the United States to refuse to use the Bible at his inauguration was Franklin Pierce, the 14th President? The reason is rather interesting. When Pierce had been elected, he and Mrs. Pierce and their son, two weeks before the inauguration, they were taking a trip by train. Not long into the train journey there was suddenly a lurch, a jolt, and the car the Pierces were in tumbled off the tracks and down an embankment. Neither the president nor his wife was injured in the accident, but their son was killed. Franklin Pierce brooded over this, as would most of us. He asked the question of God that so many of us would have asked. Why would God at this moment of triumph permit this tragedy in their lives? He was so upset by this that he refused to allow the Bible to be used at the inauguration.

Today’s gospel story describes how Jesus transforms the despair and sorrow of a widow by raising her only son from death.

Today we have two stories with happy endings,

two stories of hope, two stories of restoring the dead to life.

We might be tempted to say – wouldn’t it be great if we could restore the dead to life? But is that asking a bit too much.

We may not be able to raise the dead

But we can certainly bring hope, bring peace, bring a smile,

We can visit people, we can bring them the Word of God, and Eucharist.

Yesterday I brought 10 people communion for the First Friday, this is something that is very important to people who are housebound.

One man told me he hadn’t seen anybody since I was there a month ago.

There are many people in our parish who would love a visit, many who would love a lift to mass, many who would love someone to bring them communion every day or every week.

This is something that is not just about the priest surely – this is something that the whole Christian community can be involved. Everyone here can visit a neighbor, a fellow parishioner, bring them a smile, bring them the mass leaflet, read the Word of God to them.

New Ministers will bring communion

So we cannot raise the dead – BUT

- we can bring life , we can bring light to darkness

Comfort to sadness, hope to despair, company to the lonely

By bringing ourselves, by bringing the word of God, and by bringing communion

I would love to see a parish Visiting group? Visit and chat to those at home and those in hospital.

Where do we look for hope?

Where do we hear words of hope, encouragement

Where do I speak them? Share them

Pressures, sadness, death, bleakness, depression, suicide, abortion

In the middle of it all we can hear Gods word “A great prophet has appeared and visited his people –

Everyone was filled with Awe

We need to be filled with awe, days like today can get us out for a walk and be filled with the awe of Gods presence, the awe of Gods creation

Then we can bring that awe to those we meet, to those we visit.

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