23RD SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME
Well here we are at the beginning of the new school year. I can just imagine the frustration of the parents trying to get their children out of bed last Monday morning. I always hated going back to school at the beginning of September as the long summer holidays were at an end. But then of course the next holiday would be Halloween and then of course Christmas and i’m sure there are already whispers of what the youngsters around and about are hoping to get for CHRISTMAS. The less said about that the better, I had a friend who wouldn’t let you talk about Christmas until after Halloween which in today’s climate is a very good policy for all of us .
Our Gospel reading for this Sunday focuses on the deaf man regaining his hearing or rather Jesus healing the deaf man. What is the significance of Jesus putting his fingers into the man’s ears? Gregory the Great (540-604 AD) 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. Jesus freed the man from more than a physical ailment. He restored the man’s moral character and social contacts.
Jews in the time of Jesus assumed physical ailments (like the one the man suffered from) were the result of sin, either personal or ancestral. Such an ailment reflected moral deficiencies. It also placed barriers between the man and a normal social life. (Indeed, some of his family members might have been ashamed of his condition and sought to hide him.)
There are many people out there who are deaf, that is deaf and maybe even blind to the treasures of the faith. Many have never had anyone to show them the faith, Saint Paul pointed out in his time and what he said is more relevant today when he said was never heardof him? Of course there are so many others who are blind and deaf to the faith by choice and the big question for us to ask ourselves is how do we help the non practising to see and hear again and how do we inspire those who are seeking the faith in ways that will bring them to the faith .
The Year of Faith beginning in October is a summons and a call for all of us to come to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the one Saviour of the world. By faith, across the centuries, men and women of all ages, have confessed the beauty of following the Lord Jesus wherever they were called to bear witness to the fact that they were Christian: in the family, in the workplace, in public life, in the exercise of the charisms and ministries to which they were called. By faith, we too live: by the living recognition of the Lord Jesus, present in our lives and in our history. In faith all of us are challenged, to understand that God’s love is for everyone, and that we are agents of that love. To be agents of God’s love does not mean that we develop halos and a saintly patience; it means to remember the Faith that we profess and act accordingly. So let us also receive, with faith, Jesus in the Eucharist! Let us ask Mary to help us to believe and have faith as she has always believed in God! May she prepare our heart to worthily receive this most great sacrament, mystery of faith and love!