September 6, 2015

23rd Sun., Ordinary Time

September 6, 2015:  Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

  • 'Eyeball' pin:  "Then will the eyes of the blind be opened...."  (1st reading); The Lord gives sight to the blind (psalm)
  • 'Stag' pin:  "Then will the lame leap like a stag...."  (1st reading)
  • Blue shirt:  Rivers will burst forth, sands will become pools, and ground springs of water  (1st reading)
  • 'Crowns' tie:  The Lord shall reign forever (psalm)
  • Gold [wedding] ring (not shown):  If a man with gold rings and a poor person both come in... (2nd reading)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  People begged Jesus to lay his hand on the deaf-mute (gospel)
  • Green in suspenders:  Ordinary Time season

Pope Francis
Host a refugee family:  Every European parish, religious community, monastery, sanctuary, take in one family.  This solidarity will start here in the Vatican; two parishes are about to take in a family of refugees.  As we witness tens of thousands of refugees in conflict and hunger and are on a journey of hope, the Gospel calls us to be close to the smallest and the abandoned.  Offering shelter to the needy is a concrete act in preparation for the upcoming Jubilee of Mercy.
  • Is 35:4-7a  Say to the frightened:  Be strong!  Your God is coming to save you with vindication and divine recompenseThe eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf cleared; the lame will leap, and the mute sing.  Streams and rivers will burst forth, sands will become pools, and the thirsty ground, springs of water.
  • Ps 146:7-10  "Praise the Lord, my soul!"  God keeps faith, secures justice, gives food, sets captives free, gives sight to the blind, raises those bowed down, loves the just, protects strangers, sustains the fatherless and widows,...
  • Jas 2:1-5  Adhere to the faith without partiality.  If you pay attention to a well dressed person over one in shabby clothes, you've made distinctions among yourselves and become judges.  God chose the poor to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom.
  • Mk 7:31-37  People begged Jesus to lay his hands on a deaf-mute.  He took him aside, put his finger into his ears, spat, touched his tongue, groaned to heaven, and said to him, “Be opened,” and his ears were opened and he spoke plainly.  The more he ordered them not to tell anyone, the more they proclaimed it:  He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
    • Creighton:  Christian faith is the encounter of  believers with the risen Christ; the encounter gives a new horizon and direction, plus the joy and comfort of knowing God is with us no matter what.  Today's readings show how encounters with God can bring comfort and joy, even in trials:  Isaiah reminds the exiled, captive Hebrew community  they're not alone and that God will rescue and revive them.  The psalmist assures the that they're not alone and God hasn't forgotten them.  The gospel echoes this theme through Jesus’ healing encounter with the deaf-mute.  Pope Francis encourages us to encounter Jesus and experience a freshness of faith and desire to spread gospel joy.... 
    • One Bread One Body:  "Fruit of the lips":  Jesus' inserting his fingers into a deaf-mute's ears and touching his tongue seem foreign to us, but at baptism, the priest|deacon touched your ears and lips and prayed that God open your ears to hear his Word and your lips to proclaim it.  As Jesus groaned in the gospel, he still groans and prays that we be open to the Word.  As listening to loud music affects your hearing, listening to the world's noise and voices affects spiritual hearing.  Let Jesus touch you:  "Be opened!"
    • Passionist:  Jesus is the fulfillment of Old Testament promises.  God will open blind eyes and deaf ears and give song to the mute and dance to the lame.  In the old baptismal rite the priest would touch the ears of the one being baptized.  In Baptism we receive the gift of the Spirit and are incorporated into the Body of Christ.  Is Mark saying that disciples are to be open to God's Word and to speak about Christ to others?  Our baptismal commitment includes being open to hear Jesus and eager to share our faith.  If may faith is a deep experience of listening to God and seeing his action around me, how can I not share it?
    Re 2nd reading:  Do I judge by externals or discriminate in any area?
    •  Jesus never turned anyone away who approached him with sincerity and trust. He demonstrated God's beauty and goodness in his actions.  Gregory the Great: “The Spirit is called the finger of God.  When the Lord puts his fingers into the deaf-mute's ears, he was opening his soul to faith through the Spirit.”  The Lord treats each of us with kindness and compassion and calls us to treat one another the same way.  The Spirit within us enables us to love as Jesus does....
    Blessings to all at this year's SCRC Catholic Renewal Convention!

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