Living the Sunday Gospel: Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Gospel Mk 7:31-37

Again Jesus left the district of Tyre and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, into the district of the Decapolis. And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment and begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, “Ephphatha!”– that is, “Be opened!” — And immediately the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly.

 

He ordered them not to tell anyone. But the more he ordered them not to, the more they proclaimed it. They were exceedingly astonished and they said, “He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

 

CURE, LORD, OUR DEAFNESS!

 

Many times, in the middle of our desperation or impatience, we maybe think or listen to others: “God does not listen to me! I want Him to talk to me right away!” Is God deaf to our pleas? Or does He even talk to us?

 

Indeed, God is not the one who does not listen or talk to us, but we are the ones who do not know (or do not want) to listen to God when He talks to us in his way. Does not God talk to us through creation (see Rom 1:20)? Does He not talk to us through the prophets (see Heb 1:1)? Has He not talk to us and to every man and woman loudly through his beloved Son, Jesus Christ, the Lord (see Lk 9:35)? Does He not still talk to us through the Church of his beloved Son? This Church has kept in its heart the words of her Lord through centuries. She has not stopped to spread Lord’s words into the whole world by evangelizing whole towns in obedience to the divine Founder’s mandate: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature” (Mk 16:15).

 

Yes, God speaks and He speaks in many ways. However, if we want to listen to God, it is necessary that we come to Him humbly to ask Him to open our ears as He did it to that deaf man. We should ask Him to cure us of deafness as He did to the deaf man, which is “a” fruit of our sin, fruit of being used to listen to other voices which do not come from Him.

 

Whoever is cured of deafness thanks to faith, listens and welcomes the divine Word, accepts all the radical demands, sticks strongly to it and tries to put it into practice in daily life. Therefore, he experiences how that Word transforms all his being little by little (see Heb 4:12) and “his speech impediment is removed” to proclaim bravely and joyfully the wonders that God has made in his own life and announce the Gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone.

 

CONCRETE MEANS

 

1. How can we listen to God? We listen to God by reading and constant reflection of the Scriptures, specially the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. In the Gospels we find all the Father’s revelation who is Jesus Christ, his only Son. He came to reveal us all the things God wanted to tell us for our salvation (See Jn 15:15). Through Him, God talked to us and God keeps talking to us today. When we know the Lord Jesus, we love Him and we try to live according to what he taught, we listen to God who said: “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him!” (Mk 9:7). Therefore, read and reflect every day in a spirit of prayer at least one chapter of any Gospel. The daily “biblical reading” is a basic discipline of our Christian life. We cannot live a Christian life if we do not feed ourselves with the Lord’s teachings every day.

 

2. We listen to God when we listen to the Catholic Church’s teachings, the voice of its “Magisterium”. Lord Jesus promised his Spirit to his apostles and successors, in communion with Peter so they can remember, save and teach with loyalty the truth revealed by Jesus Christ (see Jn 14:26). Thus, it is essential that we listen and obey cordially to the Magisterium of the Church and to its rightful pastors, even more today that it is a trendy to “believe in Jesus but not in the Church”. We cannot separate Jesus from his Church, whether we like it or not because He himself said: “Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” (Lk 10:16). We understand that Jesus was talking about his apostles; it is also related to his successors. A concrete mean to listen to the Magisterium or to the teachings of the Church is through the reading and studying of Catechism of the Catholic Church, Compendium  . As Catholics, we cannot stop reflecting in these teachings which come from the teachings of Lord Jesus; these teachings are kept in the heart of the Church.

 

Let’s be SAINTS!!!!

 

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