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23rd Sunday of the Year – B  

23rd Sunday of the Year – B

 

Dear friends in Christ,

 

Illness brings sufferings. The man in today’s Gospel suffered deeply because he was deaf and had a speech impediment. He was literally locked up and imprisoned behind the wall of silence. He was isolated and cut off entirely from the outside world. No word could get into him because he was deaf. No word could get out of him because he was mute. In a moment of danger a human voice could not warn him. In a time of sorrow a human voice could not console him. He could not let others know how he felt or what he wanted. He could not express his emotions nor his feelings. Nobody understood him, and he neither understood anybody.

Fortunately, that day Jesus happened to pass by the area as he was on his way to Galilee. The man was brought to Jesus by friends so he could lay his hand on him. Jesus touched the man’s ears and tongue and restored him to life.

Today’s Scripture readings remind us that healing is a powerful sign of God’s Kingdom in our midst. Isaiah told people whose hearts were frightened: “Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes to save you.” God gives us powers to accomplish great things in his creation. But in pride and ignorance we misuse these powers that caused us to be unable to hear and speak God’s words. Therefore, Isaiah has an extended appeal for us to a sincere faith and a life of service to God.

“Ephphatha!” ‘Be opened!” Let Jesus touch our ears, our tongues, and our hearts so we can hear not only the noise, speak not only the word, but most of all that we can hear God’s voice and speak God’s message. This is a real liberation to our entire person.

 

Fr. Joe