“AS IN HIS LIFE HE DID WONDERS, SO IN HIS DEATH HIS DEEDS WERE MARVELOUS” (Sirach 48:14)
📖Sir 48:1-14; Ps 97:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7 (R.v.12a); Matt 6:7-15
Within one of our reflections through this medium in the past, we have tried to explain the benefits of our celebration of the Saints. One of those reasons is for us to imitate their lives and faith (see Heb 13:7). The second is to have them intercede for us before God. It is in this second that many people have problems with us, Catholics. They would ask, “How can a dead person intercede for you? Who don die don die!”
Well, with Elijah, we can tell that the dead still have power. Remember that Elisha had asked for a double portion of his power yesterday before he was taken away! Today, the writer of the book of Sirach provides us with a concised summary of what Elijah used his power to achieve in his time. This is probably to expose to us to the content of what Elisha was actually demanding. But this editor, who was obviously writing a long time after Elijah noted that even in death, he continued his marvelous deeds (cf. Sirach 48:14).
For those who may wish to argue against that position due to the fact that the book of Sirach is one of the deuterocanonical books, 2 Kings 13:21 might also be of help to them. There, the remains of Elisha caused another dead man to regain his life (I hope it was the Catholics that wrote that part). Well, we can see one reason why we use the relics of the saints in our worship. Because they are spotless, we believe they can command the presence of God.
Providentially, today we celebrate the memorial of St. Aloysius Gonzaga. He was a religious and died at the a very young age of 23 out of the disease he caught while taking care of the sick during an epidemic. He was known for his outstanding life of holiness, marked by strict piety, selflessness and simplicity. He was a man of prayer.
May Jesus continue to teach us at all times how to pray so that, like St. Aloysius Gonzaga, we may reject worldly things and seek after things above in heaven. Amen.
Have a blessed and inspiring day ahead. Peace be with you.