Homily September 6, 2015 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted in Called, christian, Faith, homily, scripture, Spirit, Word by Fr Joe R on September 2, 2015

23 suToday’s gospels interesting as Mark tells us that Jesus traveled from Tyre to Sidon to the Sea of Galilee to Decapolis, a part of the gentile world outside Israel. The trip was a fairly long one considering they walked and Sidon was 26 miles north of Tyre before heading southeast to the Sea of Galilee and Decapolis. In Mark’s gospel, to this point there have been numerous signs and miracles done by Jesus. From this point on, Mark only records today’s miracle and four more in his gospel. Jesus in today’s gospel chooses a deaf man with speech problems to cure, and he is a gentile. For Mark, many think there is a symbolism here that Jesus is showing He is present for all and at the same time, by taking the man aside and opening his ears and allowing him to speak, that he is prompting his apostles and others to listen and hear his word. Certainly they have seen enough to hear and believe in him. Here is a moment he indicates that he is not a mere wonder worker, but a Man with the Word and a message to be heard and believed.

“Ephphatha”, be opened, figuratively Mark is speaking to all.. Listen is what he says, as the voice at his baptism said Listen to him. All through biblical history, all were 23 suncalled to listen, to hear God’s word. Jesus was sent to once and for all bring God’s love for all. But, that doesn’t mean that God
s word stopped, or that he doesn’t speak to us today. Jesus remains present in the world today in many ways and to all believers and even to non-believers. He speaks even in how we live and how we respond to others around us. How we treat and care about those around us, especially those on the fringes of our society, those vulnerable to the powerful, those helpless to defend against injustice. These are the things Jesus prepared us to listen to and respond with the love that God has shared with all of us. As Christ took his long journey to heal the deaf man, a foreigner, a gentile, so we are called to open our own hearing and listen to all and look for God;s love in all who speak to us.