Saturday, September 05, 2009
23RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
23RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – B
Thus says the LORD: Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be
strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication; with
divine recompense he comes to save you. Then will the eyes of the
blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame
leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing. Streams will
burst forth in the desert, and rivers in the steppe. The burning sands
will become pools, and the thirsty ground, springs of water.
My brothers and sisters, show no partiality as you adhere to the faith
in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. For if a man with gold rings and
fine clothes comes into your assembly, and a poor person in shabby
clothes also comes in, and you pay attention to the one wearing the
fine clothes and say, "Sit here, please," while you say to the poor
one, "Stand there," or "Sit at my feet," have you not made
distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil designs?
Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Did not God choose those who
are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom
that he promised to those who love him?
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."
Jesus did not want to give a wrong impression of his messiahship. His
was not a power that advocated violence in order to liberate his
fellow Jews from the rule of other nationalities. Rather, his role as
a messiah, the anointed and the One sent by God, is to liberate us
from our un-freedoms in a manner that is quite different from what we
may readily think of. Jesus will teach us the Paschal Mystery — his
suffering, death, and resurrection as the very key to salvation.
His death on the cross would give a new meaning as during his time,
crucifixion was considered the most scandalous, humiliating, and
ignominious manner to die. Such a horrible manner of execution was
meant for criminals, rebels, and traitors, of which Jesus was not.
Yet, Jesus was killed in this humiliating manner that led to a new
meaning of the cross. Mark then presents the death of Jesus with the
confession of a centurion, a Roman who acknowledges that Jesus is
indeed the messiah, the Son of God. The messianic, secret is finally
revealed and ironically proclaimed by a non-Jew. Now, there is nothing
to hide. Jesus as messiah becomes supposedly clear to us.
The cross or crucifix has become a significant symbol for many people
including those who do not necessarily believe in Christ. We see it
everywhere. The cross is the ultimate expression of the love and
compassion of Jesus and is reflective of the love and mercy of his
Father. Throughout his life, Jesus tirelessly proclaimed this love and
mercy of his Father through his authoritative teachings, his table
fellowships with the outcasts of society, and the innumerable cures
and healing of the sick.
Today's Gospel portrays that love and compassion when Jesus enables a
deaf man to speak again. With his powers, he tells the afflicted man
"Ephphatha, be opened." Immediately the man was healed; he could hear
and speak perfectly. The people around were astounded. They cry out
almost in chorus: "He has done all things well; he makes the deaf hear
and the dumb speak." They echo what Isaiah says in the First Reading:
"Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, the ears of the deaf
unsealed, then the fame shall leap like a deer and the tongues of the
dumb sing for joy." The future promised by the prophet has now
arrived. With this new ability, this man's world would never be the
This command of Jesus to the deaf man, "Be opened," is likewise
addressed to us. Even though most of us have the capacity to speak and
hear, we cannot deny that there are many instances when we would
rather be deaf and mute. We choose not to speak because of fear, of
commit ting mistakes, and because of our indifference even though we
may be witnesses to situations of violence and injustice.
We live in difficult and confusing times. We read of tragedies and
disasters, of crime and violence, of poverty and disease. How do we
respond? Are we apathetic? Are we cynical to what's happening around
us? Do we have the attitude of "as long as I and my loved ones are not
seriously affected, we do not have to be seriously, involved"? Do we
feel any pain and love for our less fortunate brothers and sisters?
How can we be individuals and people of compassion and hope in our
It is time to listen and speak; to listen to the Word of God and see
its concrete applications in our lives. To `be opened' is to be
involved out of love and compassion for others.
Be opened — this is the message of Jesus particularly in the call for
our love and compassion for others. May we be enlightened by the Holy
Spirit and be given the courage so that we can listen and speak in our
quest for truth and welfare of the majority of others.
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
… for the strength and healing of:
- Lydia, Keempee and Kevin
- Kurt Czyrell
- Arnold Cabatingan
- Brenda Domingo-Solis
- Inday Tan
… for the personal intentions of
- Vicsyd Valera and family
… for the safety of San Juan de Dios Hospital
… In thanksgiving: Jazmine
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Jeremy L. Lim
- Birthday: Araceli Centeno
- Birthday: Lily Sim
- Thanksgiving: North Park ( Since 1994 )
- Wedding Anniversary: Carlos & Luisa Cheng
… for the healing and peace of all families
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers
and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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