Miracles of Jesus: The Transfiguration & the Raising of the Son of the Widow of Nain

Authored by Msgr. Paul J. Watson in Issue #32.3 of The Sower

Msgr. Paul Watson proposes that we catechise on two ‘new creation’ events that are linked to Elijah.

The reader may by puzzled by the decision to link together the two incidents of the Transfiguration (Luke 9:28-36 and parallels) and the raising of the widow of Nain’s son (Luke 7:11-17). There are two reasons for this decision. In the first place, both miracles are what C.S.Lewis would classify as ‘new creation’ miracles; and secondly, the two events are linked through reference to Elijah.

In previous articles we have considered two ‘old creation’ miracles - that is, miracles in which Jesus acts in a way that God always acts in Nature – changing water into wine or transforming corn or fish into an abundance. Such actions reveal nature’s dependence upon God and are examples of a more fundamental principle: that a higher order of being enters the realm of a lower order of being, giving that lower order meaning and purpose.

A ‘new creation’ miracle is quite different. In such miracles God is revealing a new purpose and a new order of reality. For C.S.Lewis, the primary ‘new creation’ miracle is the Resurrection – by which God is bringing about a new form of existence for humanity and which is first manifested in the humanity of God’s incarnate Son. In the second volume of his work, Jesus of Nazareth, Pope Benedict speaks of the Resurrection as an ‘ontological leap’ or as an ‘evolutionary leap’ – a completely new and unprecedented mode of existence. In revealing this new mode of existence, God is also revealing the ultimate destiny of the human race.

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This article is from The Sower and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of Maryvale Institute. Contact sower@maryvale.ac.uk

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