Is 35:4-7a; Jas 2:1-5; Mk 7:31-37 (23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time)
(OK. First – time to wash the egg off of my face. Turns out that Archbishop Dolan will also be doing the closing Benediction at the Democratic national convention as he did at the Republican national convention. Apparently news doesn’t travel into the Maine woods as clearly as I thought it did. )
In Mark’s gospel, we hear this Sunday from the witnesses of Jesus’ healing miracles who exclaim: “He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.” This miraculous transformation is not limited to those who are physically dumb or deaf, however.
How do you know that Jesus has touched your heart? When you begin to listen to people, as if for the first time, to whom you have formerly only heard. This is a particular challenge for us within our respective circles of family and friends and aquaintances.
We create boxes in our minds for the various people we know and expect them to act in a certain way. Too often we aren’t listening to what they are actually saying to us as much as we are hearing what we expect to hear. God sends us little children as prophets to help make us aware of this unfortunate habit; have you ever had the experience of a child grabbing hold of your face – or perhaps your pants leg – and saying, “Listen to me!”?
Another sign of having been touched by Jesus: we begin to speak the truth. Not merely ramble off words that are intended to simply pass the time or to provide barricades behind which we can hide. When we are touched by Christ we are given the grace of discernment so that we might see what is true and what is false. We receive the courage to proclaim that which is true.
A good question to reflect upon this week: What is one truth that you need to hear? What is one truth that you need to speak?
Jim Philipps (3rd millennium pilgrim)
P.S. I would appreciate you prayers on behalf of my mother. She is very ill.)