|TWENTY THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARTY TIME – YEAR B THEME: Jesus Cures the Deaf and the Dumb|
Date: 6 Sep 2015
FIRST READING Isaiah 35:4-7
“Then the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.”
A reading from the Book of Isaiah
Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.” Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water.
The word of the Lord
Alleluia. Jesus was preaching the Gospel of the kingdom, healing every disease and every infirmity among the people. Alleluia.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 146:6-10
RESPONSE: My soul, give praise to the Lord!
It is the Lord who preserves fidelity forever,
who does justice to those who are oppressed.
It is he who gives bread to the hungry,
the Lord who sets prisoners free. R
It is the Lord who opens the eyes of the blind,
the Lord who raises up those who are bowed down.
It is the Lord who loves the just.
the Lord who protects the stranger. R
The Lord upholds the orphan and the widow,
but thwarts the path of the wicked.
The Lord will reign forever,
the God of Sion from age to age. R
RESPONSE: My soul, give praise to the Lord
SECOND READING James 2:1-5
“Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be heirs of the kingdom?”
A reading from the Letter of Saint James
My brethren, show no partiality as you hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man with gold rings and in fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “Have a seat here, please,” while you say to the poor man, “Stand there,” or, “Sit at my feet.” Have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brethren. Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to those who love him?
The word of the Lord
GOSPEL Mark 7:31-37
“He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark
At that time: Jesus returned from the region of Tyre, and went through Sidon to the sea of Galilee, through the region of the Decapolis, and they brought to him a man who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand upon him. And taking him aside from the multitude privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue; and looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. And he charged them to tell no one; but the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well; he even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
The Gospel of the Lord
REFLECTION Don Schwager
What is the significance of Jesus putting his fingers into the mans ears? Gregory the Great, a church father from the 6th century, comments on this miracle: “The Spirit is called the finger of God. When the Lord puts his fingers into the ears of the deaf mute, he was opening the soul of man to faith through the gifts of the Holy Spirit.”
The people's response to this miracle testifies to Jesus' great care for others: He has done all things well. No problem or burden was too much for Jesus' careful consideration. The Lord treats each of us with kindness and compassion and he calls us to treat one another in like manner. The Holy Spirit who dwells within us enables us to love as Jesus loves. Do you show kindness and compassion to your neighbors and do you treat them with considerateness as Jesus did?
"Lord Jesus, fill me with your Holy Spirit and inflame my heart with love and compassion. Make me attentive to the needs of others that I may show them kindness and care. Make me an instrument of your mercy and peace that I may help others find healing and wholeness in you."