By Fr. Andrew Kelly
23RD SUNDAY ORDINAL TIME – SEPT. 9
Before baptism, in terms of faith, a believer could not hear, speak or be Jesus’ disciple. Sunday’s Gospel (Mark 7:31-37) is the story of every believer’s journey to faith.
In baptism the risen Jesus touches ears so the Gospel can be heard and believed. The tongue is touched so faith in Jesus can be professed and acclaimed.
Once the risen Jesus declares “Ephphatha,’ that is, ‘Be opened,’” the believer begins the lifelong journey of following Jesus as a disciple.
The glorious thing about the story is what happens to a community once there is a new disciple. Its soul is so touched that it ignores and disobeys Jesus’ order not to tell anyone. The more Jesus orders the community “the more zealously they proclaimed it.”
Sunday’s Gospel describes the enthusiasm of Sunday morning’s community worship:
“They were astounded beyond measure, saying, ‘He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.’”
The 2012 question is: “Is this true of community life? Is there still Gospel story excitement, enthusiasm, awe and amazement “beyond measure?”
Why? Because the risen Jesus still today “even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)
Scripture Readings for Sept. 9-16
1 Cor 5:1-8
1 Cor 6:1-11
1 Cor 7:25-31
1 Cor 8:1b-7, 11-13
1 Cor 10:14-22
Jn 19:25-27 or Lk 2:33-35