• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Saturday, 08 September 2018 13:15

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B - 2018

Written by Fr Prakash Menezes SVD

Twenty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Year B Readings: Isaiah 35:4-7; James 2:1-5; Mark 7:31-37

Ephphata (Be Opened)!!

Fr Prakash Menezes SVD 150The Gospel this Sunday has a beautiful healing story. Jesus heals a person who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech. In the Gospel, we are told that, unlike some of the miracles of Jesus, we see a ritual being performed here. Jesus puts his fingers into the ears of the deaf person and touches his tongue with spittle. It is a gesture of bringing health and fullness in the life of that person. He is not only healed but also is brought to fullness of life by the touch; a gentle, caring and loving touch. And as expected, the people who saw this miracle couldn’t hold back themselves and share it with everyone. 

We still use the same ritual in the Baptism liturgy, after anointing of the candidate with the oils of Chrism and Catechumen, and pray over the lips and ears saying, ‘May God bless your lips and ears to listen and proclaim God’s Word.’ So, there it is, may God bless our ears and lips, to listen and to proclaim. We, first of all, are called to listen. Listening is such a great gift and is also a blessing. We are called to listen to each and every one and, at the same time, be attentive to hear what is being said. Then we are called to proclaim what we have heard. We are called to share our experience with each other.

As the followers of Christ, first and foremost we need to listen to God’s Word. We need to be attentive to the Word and through that experience God’s work in our lives. When we experience God working in us, and when we feel we have been touched by God’s presence, we cannot hold back, but share it with others. And we will most certainly do it, as the people in Jesus’ time did. Even though Jesus gave them strict orders not to tell anyone, they could not hold back.

Do I really listen to God’s Word?

Am I really attentive to hear what is being said?

Am I bold enough to share my experience of God with others?

Do I live as the one who has experienced God?

This is something to ponder about and reflect upon today as we hear this beautiful healing story. The second reading from the letter of James makes it very clear, if we hear the Word of God, if we follow it wholeheartedly, then we cannot make a distinction between rich and poor and treat people according to their status. We cannot push people away for who they are and how they live. Instead, we are called to be open; open to God’s call, open to listen, open to receive God’s presence and most of all open to share our experience with others.

So, let us pray, that the Lord may open our ears and lips to listen and to proclaim God’s Word to all.


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