23rd SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
In today’s first reading (Is 35:4-7), Isaiah the prophet, urges the people to take courage, because God is coming to save his people. “The eyes of the blind shall be opened, the ears if the deaf unsealed … the tongues of the dumb sing for joy …”
These promises are fulfilled in the Gospel story as Jesus cures a Gentile man who is deaf and has a speech impediment.
The second reading from St James reminds us that class distinction should have no place among Christians.
Jesus performed the miracle on Gentile (pagan) territory. St Mark shows us the sharp contrast of faith by the Gentiles and the lack of belief from his own Jewish people. Hence they declare: “He has done all things well; he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.”
Thank God, most of us can hear and speak. (Even if we are a bit deaf as we grow old). These are precious gifts we must never take for granted or even misuse. We must use them well. How sad it is if we have ears and refuse to hear or to listen, or to have a tongue but refuse to speak. How wonderful it is to have a listening ear in time of trouble and a word of consolation or forgiveness when needed in our lives.
The miracle is not so much about the physical healing of a man who is deaf and dumb. Rather it is about the opening of a person’s ears that we’ll be able to hear the Word of God; and the loosening of one’s tongue so that we’ll be able to profess faith in Jesus. A person could have perfect hearing, and yet not hear the Word of God. And a person could have perfect speech and be unable to make an act of faith.
So the invitation to us today is, to open our minds and hearts to the Word of God and having taken that word to heart, be able to pass it on to others by the example of our lives in word and deed. Jesus tells us in the Parable of the Sower: “the seed is the Word of God, falling on good soil and so producing the crop intended!”
Notice how gently Jesus treats the man. He takes his aside so that he could give him his full attention and also away from the curiosity of the gawkers! He touches him, no point in speaking because he is deaf. This is the same
Jesus that encourages us to listen, hear, take his word to heart and spread his Good News.
That’s all for this week, God bless. Fr Joe
WELCOME TO FR. MARCEL: We will be able to welcome back Fr Marcel Kofon next week. He is continuing his studies in Rome and will spend a few weeks here with us in the parish. It will be good to see him again.
BEST WISHES to all our students who are beginning a new academic year we hope you have had a restful summer break. We hope that with Covid-19 all will continue to keep safe and be able to comply with regulations