Posted by: RAM | September 5, 2015

Sunday (September 6): “Ephphatha!”

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of Our Lady of Sorrows

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 128

First Reading: Isaiah 35:4-7
Psalms 146:7-10:  
Praise the Lord, my soul!
Second Reading: James 2:1-5

Gospel: Mark 7:31-37

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.” http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/090615.cfm

Reflection: How do you expect the Lord to treat you when you ask for his help? Do you approach with fear and doubt, or with faith and confidence? Jesus never turned anyone aside who approached him with sincerity and trust. And whatever Jesus did, he did well. He demonstrated both the beauty and goodness of God in his actions. When Jesus approaches a man who is both deaf and a stutterer, Jesus shows his considerateness for this man’s predicament. Jesus takes him aside privately, not doubt to remove him from embarrassment with a noisy crowd of gawkers. Jesus then puts his fingers into the deaf man’s ears and he touches the man’s tongue with his own spittle to physically identify with this man’s infirmity and to awaken faith in him. With a word of command the poor man’s ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly.

What is the significance of Jesus putting his fingers into the man’s ears? Gregory the Great, a church father from the 6th century, 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. The Lord treats each of us with kindness and compassion and he calls us to treat one another in like manner. The Holy Spirit who dwells within us enables us to love as Jesus loves. Do you show kindness and compassion to your neighbors and do you treat them with considerateness as Jesus did?

“Lord Jesus, fill me with your Holy Spirit and inflame my heart with love and compassion. Make me attentive to the needs of others that I may show them kindness and care. Make me an instrument of your mercy and peace that I may help others find healing and wholeness in you.”  http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/sep6.htm http://www.dailyscripture.net author Don Schwager © 2014 Servants of the Word

Saint of the Day:  St. Eleutherius (d. 585)
A wonderful simplicity and spirit of compunction were the distinguishing virtues of this holy man. He was chosen abbot of St. Mark’s near Spoleto, and favored by God with the gift of miracles. A child who was possessed by the devil, being delivered by being educated in his monastery, the Abbot said one day: “Since the child is among the servants of God, the devil dares not approach him.” These words seemed to savor of vanity, and thereupon the devil again entered and tormented the child.

The Abbot humbly confessed his fault, and fasted and prayed with his whole community till the child was again freed from the tyranny of the fiend. St. Gregory, the Great, not being able to fast on Easter-eve on account of extreme weakness, engaged this Saint to go with him to the church of St. Andrew’s and offer up his prayers to God for his health, that he might join the faithful in that solemn practice of penance.

Eleutherius prayed with many tears, and the Pope, coming out of the church, found that he was enabled to perform the fast as he desired. It is also said that St. Eleutherius raised a dead man to life. Resigning his abbacy, he died in St. Andrew’s monastery in Rome about the year 585. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=44

Saints of the Day

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  RAM Follow tweets by @TheOneKin  @Pontifex @CardinalChito

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