Friday, September 25, 2009

We need to be clear about what sin is.

Homily for Mark 9: 38-48
In the Gospel today, Jesus says something rather shocking and appalling. He speaks to us in a manner which is rather crude- “cut off your hand if it causes you to sin or cut off your foot if it causes you to sin.” Jesus is saying this jokingly, but he is extremely serious in what he says. He wants to get our attention. He wants us to know that sin is serious business; in fact, it is by far the most disastrous thing in our lives.
We need to be clear about what sin is. Sin is either damaging or outright breaking our relationship with God and with our neighbor. It may be a deliberate action, or it may be neglecting to do an action that we should. For example, we should love God and strive to do His will above all things to show this love. We should also be respectful and kind to others because Jesus has died for that person, even if he or she be our enemy.
Jesus uses very strong language to talk about sin to get our attention and to snap us out of our indifference; so terrible is indifference that Jesus sweated blood in the garden over the indifference of men. So, let us look a little closer at what Jesus means by saying we should cut off our limbs. Now remember, we cannot take this passage literally- Jesus did not mean it literally, but nonetheless he did mean it seriously.
Jesus starts with hands, then feet and then our eyes to get us thinking about our own lives, our own sin. So can you think of how your hands have been used for sin? (pause) For example, have we taken things that are not our own? How about our feet? Can we think of ways our feet have led us to sin? (pause) For example, have we walked in and to places we shouldn't have? Lastly, our eyes; can we think of sins we have committed with our eyes? (pause) For example, have we look at persons or things we should not or in a way we should not have?
When you were thinking, were not many of our occasions of sin, sins against our neighbor? All sin is against charity-love of God, love of neighbor and proper love of self. Or how about this? Did many of the circumstances or occasions of sin occur right in your families or within your homes? I think it is true that we face our sinfulness most when we are around the people whom we love the most.
We tend to sin most in our homes and against our families. Our family knows us the best; they know all our faults and weaknesses and we know the fault and weakness of each of them. And because of this knowledge we tend to use their weakness and faults to our advantage to manipulate or hurt them, instead of forgetting about ourselves in order to help and support them in those very weakness and faults.
We become impatient with our family, we tend to take our problems out on them or even blame them for our problems. Maybe we do this through being impatience with them or getting angry and saying unkind things. The fact of the matter is, we can treat those we love the most, worse than we would treat a total stranger. We expect our family members to be perfect, when we know we ourselves aren’t. The little things in our family or in our daily life that tend to cause problems are occasions of either grow in love or they become occasions for us to fail in virtue and so commit sin. The struggles in our families can be the very things that can help us to grow in love for God and for one another or they can lead us to fail to love those we should love the most.
When we think of all the ways we can sin, the next question is what should we do about it? Jesus in our passage says we should cut off our hand or cut off our foot or take out our eye if it causes us to sin. Again, we should not take this literally. What Jesus recognizes is two things. First, that sin is indeed serious and we need to do something about it, we need to change. Sin cuts us off from God’s love and from the love of one another. I think the drastic language Jesus uses is to wake us to the truth about sin. Jesus knows that sin does not disfigure us in a physical way, but it certainly does spiritually. When we sin, we cut ourselves off from Jesus and from one another. We become isolated. We often stop praying, we stop receiving Holy Communion or worse we receive it unworthily in the state of serious sin. Eventually we stop going to Mass cutting ourselves off from our parish family who we need and they need us. Our problems do not seem to get better, they only grow worse. It is like cutting off our hands, or feet or losing an eye. We are crippled spiritually when we sin which is much worse than be physically crippled.
Secondly, Jesus desires to help us in our struggle against sin; He desires to help us to change, He expects, insists that we change: He loves us to much to leave us where we are at. But as well, the drastic language is a way to let us know as well, that he knows how difficult and hard the struggle against sin is for each of us. Jesus desires to aid us in our struggle and to tell us that the struggle is worth it. Sin is the only possession we bring with us when we die. Jesus wants us to get rid of sin in our life, as the book of Hebrews says, “Let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.” (Heb. 12: 1).
The fact of the matter is, is that in the end, the main reason Jesus hates sin so much, is because He loves us so much. Sin doesn't hurt Jesus, it doesn't hurt God, it hurts us. So Jesus hates sin because he sees what it does to us, it hurts us, it hurts our family, our parish family, our community, in fact our whole world. Sin destroys our unity as God's children. Sin is failure to love one another but even more importantly, it is a failure to love God with our whole hearts in order to be with Him, to be happy with Him, in this life by serving and obeying Him and His Church so that we can be forever happy in the life to come.
If Jesus asks us not to sin, and to lay aside all the sin that likes to cling to us, then he also offers us the grace to do so. Jesus knows our struggles; he knows how hard it is, he too face temptation. He knows the circumstances in our homes, all the difficult and hard problems we face, and he longs to help us. The grace begins with asking Jesus each morning to help us in the areas where we struggle. We have to use expecially the Sacraments which are the source of all graces; we must pray often and always, and we must learn our Catholic faith. Through all of these sources, Jesus will give us all the graces we need to slowly but surely overcome our faults and failings and grow in virtue and love.
Sin is not the worst thing; the worse thing is to hang on to it by not asking Jesus to forgive us each day and to help us to overcome our sins. He has given us the great gift of the sacrament of confession to help us let go of sin and to receive the grace we need to be free from it. If we love Jesus, if we love our family, we will get in the box asap. and in humility tell the truth about our sins to Jesus through the priest. Confession is less about sin and more about Jesus and our relationship with Him. It is the grace of this sacrament that heals us and opens us to the Love of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and to one another; sin is the literally the source of all unhappiness in the world.
Let us today, in this Eucharist, entrust to Jesus all the areas of struggle in our lives and to give us the graces we need to become more like him, to love Him and to love our neighbor for love of Him, especially the members of families. Let us through the heart and hands of the Virgin Mary offer and give him everything at this Holy Mass, our whole life, including our sins. Let us beg him to fill us with His own love, to give us His own heart at this Holy Communion so we can love and live in imitation of Him.
God Bless you.

Monday, September 21, 2009

To obey God, to obey God by obeying those who have been given His authority, this, this alone is to be little

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time. September 20th, 2009

In the readings and Gospel today, there is a simple message--unless we become like little children we will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. There is of course much more to this ideal than meets the eye. I think there are two points hidden in these words, and both have to do with authority. First, those in authority must be humble, pure children of God who use their authority for love of God and in service to His children. And secondly, the children of God must receive those whom God places in authority over them also with the humility of a child, in order to receive Jesus and imitate Jesus’ own obedience to His Father.
By this humble obedience to God’s commands, in imitation of Jesus, the Children of God can be truly happy and free, and begin to be led back to the God from Whom they came. So, the one who commands must do so for love of Christ and the one who obeys must do so for love of Christ as well. If one who has authority abuses it or if one under legitimate authority refuses to obey it, then damage is done to the love and unity within the family of God’s Children and their true freedom is lost.
In the first reading we hear of the “righteous one,” he who is virtuous and thus God’s son. In this reading, God’s “son” is actually any man who has been sent by God, with God’s own authority. This God given authority is to be used to call the world to repentance, to call those of the world to amend their lives and make their lives conform to, be obedience to, the ways of God the Father. They must do this so that they might become little, humble, pure and in that childlikeness, return back to the Father, becoming one of God’s beloved sons and daughters. In this reading however, we also hear of the disobedience of those children who refuse to listen to the one sent by God. They say, “if the virtuous man is God’s son, God will take his part and rescue him from the clutches of his enemies.”
Of course, hinted to in this first reading from Wisdom is the One who is fully the Son of God and who the world will put to death. This is God’s own Son, Jesus Christ, sent by the Father, with the Father’s own authority. Jesus shows us what true authority is; it is authority used in service of others according to the Will of God. This service entails a total life giving gift of self in love, in order to give to all of mankind the truth about God, as well as the truth about man Himself. And this truth is that man was made to love and serve God His Creator in faithful loving obedience.
Our second reading follows with a warning, a warning both to those who have authority and those who are under authority. Both must possess wisdom in order not to be ambitious or jealous with authority. In other words, those who have authority must use it in service and not for ambitious gain; those who do not have it must not be jealous, they must not fight to get authority so they can use it for ambitious gain. Prayer is needed, to obtain wisdom in order that either the haves or the haves not would not see authority as a way to indulge in one’s own selfish desires.
We look to Jesus for the proper understand of authority. Jesus used His authority in order to bring the little ones to God. This is an authority that Jesus received from His Father and which Jesus used in obedience to His Father’s Will. Jesus later shared this authority with his apostles, but with the strict instructions that they needed to use this authority only for love of Him, not out of personal gain or for worldly ambition and power. They are to use their God given authority to sow peace and to lead others to God. The Apostles and those to whom they would transmit their authority (that is to the bishops and priests), need to exercise this authority for love of God and for the salvation of souls. They are to use their God given authority only according to the Father’s will, in order to teach the truth needed for salvation, the truth all men need in order to freely choose the good, the beautiful and the true, and so return back to God the Father the Almighty. This message then, was not just for the Apostles of Christ, it is of course intended for each one of us today.
Today, there are those as well who are given authority by God and those who are called to obey them; both must be done for love of God the Father. The problem today however is this, that the very ideal of authority has itself become controversial. It has become controversial because the very ideal of God the Father Almighty implies that in His Almightiness, He must be obeyed.
God is Father, the Ultimate Father the source of all Fatherhood and hence the source of all authority. In this, we realize that true authority doesn’t come from us, but from God and so must be exercised in relation to this very fundamental truth. Our society today refuses to accept this truth in the name of freedom. Our culture as placed its ideal of freedom over and above its obedience to God. And so in today’s society God’s authority is seen as nothing but a threat to our “personal freedom.” We will even kill for “freedom” (abortion). We will do anything for freedom, even “kill” God if necessary.
But our society doesn’t want to completely do away with God and so it softens Him. Sure our society still speaks often of God, we use lots of “God language”, but it is only a “tamed” God that we speak of. It is a God made in our own image and likeness. And so our ideal of God becomes a means of enjoyment, such as seen in movies like “Bruce Almighty”. Sure, our society still likes the ideal of God, someone there when we need Him, so we keep Him around, but He can’t be a God who makes demands--He has no power to do that. And as a consequence, our society regulates God to its leisure time, free time, or to the weekends, if even that... Religion is no longer a way of life, the center of life; it can’t call us to discipleship; it is just one of many things vying for our time and not the most important one at that. And so to follow God in obedience to any kind of religious practice is becoming more foreign to our society, religious practice, Mass attendance is seen more as something to do when we have time, or we need something…
Were does all of this take us then as a society? Well if God as no authority, then either do those who He has place in authority over us. All authority becomes bad and only personal autonomy is good. No one has authority and thus no one needs to obey. In order to justify this position we are told, to just look at all the abuses of authority. Society tells us; because authority has been misused and abused it must be done away with. Of course, the problem with this mentality is that the abuse of authority does not negate the legitimacy of authority and our need for it, both as individuals and a society.
Let’s look at the family to understand all of this better. Our parents, especially our earthly fathers in our society can no longer hold authority over us. Fathers and their masculinity have become bad, it is shown as the source of sooo much abuse, the abuse of woman, the abuse of children and so the ideal of fatherhood must be done away with. More and more, our society is portraying fathers as pathetic figures such as Homer Simpson, pathetic figures which command no respect, much less having authority over us—Just look at the ads on T.V. to see if this isn’t truth. Fathers are now seen as the ones from whom we need to break away, ones who take away our freedom (especially to buy what we want) And the abuses of fatherhood and masculinity in the past are held up as the reason for the need of its removal.
If God has no authority and earthly Fathers have no authority, a authority which they derive from God, then spiritual fathers, priest and bishops, have no power either. Priest and bishops have no spiritual power, they have no authority to say you must do this or avoid that for your eternal salvation. Our society makes its point again by constantly holding up the abuse of authority by some priests and bishops, (making it seem like it is all priests and bishops). And while it is true some priest and bishops have abused their authority, their abuse of authority far negating their God given authority should instead teach us more about this authority and its legitimate use. True authority comes from it being use according the Will of the Father.
So the priest is only using true authority in as much as he speaks in accordance with the teaching of the Church and behaves in the manner in which the Church prescribes, that is where his authority rest. When he steps outside of these bounds, he abuses authority and as a consequence, he loses his individual authority. But this misuse of the spiritual authority of some unfaithful religious, doesn’t mean all religious authority must be done away with, as our society argues. This doesn’t make any more sense than all earthly fathers losing their authority over their children because some fathers have abuse their children.
What our Society really wants to show is that all religious people as well as all those who stand up for the truth, but especially priests and bishops, are unstable, insane, pathetic, intolerant, and so, a threat to our freedom and happiness. Society actually doesn’t mind priests who baptize babies and organize people, as long as they’re nice. But for him to use his religious authority, to use his true fatherhood in order to speak to society about its disobedience to the God’s Will, forget it because that is a threat to personal freedom…and who does he think he is anyway? It is the same, not only for priest, but for all who try to spread the truth of the Gospel in our day or in any day for that matter.
We can hear the words of those who are not little enough to receive it, those words echoed in the first reading today, “Let us lie in wait for the virtuous man, since he annoys us, and opposes our way of life, reproaches us for our breaches of the law. Let us see if what he says is true, let us observe what kind of end he himself will have.” Those with this attitude fail to realize that true freedom and true happiness is found, not only in loving obedience to God himself, but in loving obedience to all of those whom he has placed in authority over them and use their God given authority according to the Will of the Father.
Let us pray for all those who have been given the authority of Christ, especially bishops and priests, that they may use this legitimate authority correctly for love of Christ and in loving service to His people. And let us pray for all of us who are under authority, that we may see that our obedience to those who legitimately use their authority is actually showing our obedience to God Himself. Let us pray that we all see that true freedom and true happiness can only be found in obedience to God and obedience to all those whom He has place in authority over us and operate this authority in God’s will and love. To obey God, to obey God by obeying those who have been given His authority, this, this alone is to be little, to be true children of the Father and to recieve Jesus the One He sent to save us.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Once we know the truth about Jesus we can then fully embrace the truth about ourselves and live in a way that is in accord to that truth...

September 13th, 2009. Twenty-four Sunday in Ordinary Time
In the past couple of Sundays, Jesus has shown us his authority as the Son of God. Last week he demonstrated His divine authority by curing the deaf and mute man, and the week before, he showed us His divine teaching authority. Jesus was showing His disciples these things to teach them and us about who He really is. These signs, which show forth the truth about Jesus, are not just for show, they demand a firm response from each of us.
So Jesus poses the central question of today’s Gospel and really of our faith: “Who do people say that I am?” Some say, John the Baptist, Elijah, a prophet—These responses reveal that the answer is not so easy and that most people aren’t really sure who Jesus is; even those closest to Jesus really aren’t sure who he is. The same is true in our day; many don’t really know or understand correctly who Jesus really is. Yet for us Christians, it is crucial that each of us personally answer Jesus’ question; and that the answer we give truly reflects a correct understanding of the true person of Jesus, of His true identity. Why? Well, because the way that we regard Jesus, actually determines the way that we relate to him, the way that we respond to him; in other words, how we live our lives in correlation to Him.
Your see, if Jesus is just John the Baptist, that is, if He is just a moral instructor who tells us to “be good”, then we look to Jesus only for instruction on moral formation, that is only as an example of how we should act (WWJD). But if he is just this, only one who tells us do this or don’t do that, then he doesn’t have the power to help us “be good”, much less have the power to help us to love as He commands….
If he is just Elijah, then we might regard Jesus merely as a mystical figure who speaks of the end times, but not the One who is supposed to come again to Judge the Living and the dead. As a result, He really has no relevance in our current times, he is merely someone, although significant who live two thousand years ago...good to remember but other that that.
And finally, if Jesus is merely a prophet, then he is only just a spokesman for God, like any other prophet; and so He is not the invisible God visible in a body, God in the flesh, God among us, God Himself. As a result the Eucharist is merely symbolic, but not really Jesus, God among us with the power to save us.
Therefore, Jesus’ question is a challenge that prompts each one of us to probe our own preconceptions, our assumptions, our own ideas, and labels of Him. We just cannot make Jesus to be what we want Him to be; He cannot be made to fit who we think He is or should be. No, we need to know who Jesus really is, in and of Himself, and not who we think He is, but WHO He really is. This so very important, a matter of life and death, because Jesus is truth and we cannot know truth unless we know Jesus. To know Jesus is to know the Truth; and to know the truth is to know the Way and the Life.
You see, unlike other religions, our faith is not based on the teachings of the founder, but on the founder Himself. It is only by knowing Christ that we can know His truth and even know reality itself. If we do not know who He is, then we end up wanting to have life our own way, instead of God’s way. We do our own thing and become disobedient to God, thus losing our way, our truth and our life.
But additionally, if we do not know the true Jesus but only a creation of Him in our mind, then we cannot truly know ourselves. That is why, in giving our response to the question of “who Jesus is,” we can discover the answer to another very important question: Who really are we? Only Jesus Christ can reveal to us who we truly are. Just as it is our friend who really reveals us to ourselves, even more so it is our divine friend Jesus who reveals us to ourselves. Christ is the Light of World and only in this Light can we see ourselves as we are, as He created us. Only Christ can reveal the true beauty and dignity of the human person, and He does so by inviting us to discover who He is. And who is He really? He is "I am" that is, He is true God and true Man, our Way, our Truth and our Life. He is the only way to the Father; He is the only for men to be saved.
So once we know the truth about Jesus we can then fully embrace the truth about ourselves and live in a way that is in accord to that truth, for Jesus is the Way. That is why the next thing Jesus does is “summon the crowd’ and inform them of what a disciple must do in order to follow Him. A disciple of Jesus must not be swayed by what people think, we must ignore the opinion polls, forget our own ideas, opinions, feelings and take on the mind and heart of Christ. We must take up our cross daily, and die to self and begin to live for Christ alone. And we must follow in Jesus’ footstep to avoid pursuing our own will and whim which only lead to the creation of hell on earth and eternal misery. Only when we take up our cross daily for the love of the master, do we live according to His truth, to His commands and thus find true meaning in our lives, true freedom and happiness, and life itself.
To know Christ is to love Him by following after Him. To follow Him is more than just being good, obeying the law and the teachings of the Church. It is these things of course, for we can't love Jesus without loving His Church and following It's teachings and commands which are the teachings and commands of Jesus, but Jesus wants more, He want us to live according to his truth, not out of compulsion, not because we have to, but out of our desire to love Him and in loving Him to posses Him and be possessed by Him—He who our hearts are restless until they rest in Him. To know Jesus Christ as He is, is to fall totally in Love with Him. To know Him is to realize this love of His is available to us through the power of the Sacraments; there we will find His power, the very power of the God who created all that is, the power to live our life according to His truth, not out of coercion, but freely and out of love; There we will find the One, and even obtain the One, the only one, who can, if we let Him, change our stony hearts and make them fleshy hearts capable of Love, true authentic Love. To one who is truly in love, there are no burdens in carrying out love, only the desires of the heart open to please the one we love. No matter what we lose in the process, we end up finding ourselves, because we gain Jesus Christ our only happiness, the only fulfillment to our every desire, our happiness and our life. Let us turn to Mary, Mother of the Church to lead us closer to He who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Friday, September 4, 2009

In the healing in today’s Gospel we can see the healing that our Lord wishes to perform in our souls.

Homily for Mark 7:31-37 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Sept. 6th 2009

Today in all of the readings and prayers of the Holy Mass we hear a call to hope and to absolute confidence in the Lord. In and through Jesus Christ all mankind can now find healing and the inexhaustible springs of grace flowing from His pierced heart, a pierced heart still present to us through the miracle of the Holy Mass--in fact the Holy Eucharist is the pierced Heart of Christ. The grace flowing from this pierced Heart, converts the whole world into a new creation in and through Christ. The Lord has transformed everything including men’s souls, at least those who open their hearts to His.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus performs a miracle- he opens the ears of a deaf man and heals his speech impediment. Jesus reaches out in compassion to this poor man, revealing to those who witness the miracle His divine power…Jesus raises His eyes to heaven, and says to the man, “Ephpheta!” (That is, Be opened) and at once the man’s ears where opened; he was freed from the impediment, and began to speak plainly.
As could be imagined, the people who witnessed this were astonished. They wondered who this Jesus might be. They all knew the book of Isaiah well and knew the prophecy we heard in our first reading; so the thought in their minds was, “could Jesus be the messiah?” They knew the miracle was a sign of the fulfillment of the prophecy and it raised their expectations of Jesus being the long promised Messiah. And it awakened their hope in God’s promises. God was indeed was fulfilling everything He had promised.
Let us look closer at this miracle and discover what it means for us. A person who is deaf and cannot speak is unable to really communicate with others. A loss of hearing is very isolating, some say even more so than losing ones sight. They are usually left out of conversations and activities because they cannot hear what’s being said. Hearing lost can cause depression, fear and even more so than isolation from others, isolation from God Himself resulting in a loss of hope.
I think probably even tougher than not begin able to hear, is not being able to talk. I have had experience with those who have suffered a stroke. Again, it must be a very isolating and lonely place. A person wants to talk, wants to communicate with those he loves, the words are right there in his mind, but the words and ideas just won’t come out right or won’t come out at all. How incredibly isolating this must be.
I am sure then; it was the same for the man we read in today’s Gospel-try to put yourself in his shoes. He must have been very alone and isolated, living as it were separated from family and friends. Jesus comes in and heals these afflictions and the man is not only healed of the hearing loss and speech impediment, but he is now able to be united with his family and friends, to communicate with them and tell them with his own voice that he loves them and to be able to hear them say they love him in return. He begins to have hope again.
As important as the reunion with his family and friends must have been, even more importantly was his being reunited as it were, with God. More important than his physical healing, Jesus heals this man’s relationship with God. This man can now actually hear the voice of God Himself, Jesus, and so receive the truth needed to be saved, that is the teachings of God from Jesus’ own lip. However, not only can he hear Jesus audible voice, but he can hear the voice of God and His Word in his soul. Jesus heals the man’s isolation from God caused by an impediment of the man’s soul and by healing his soul, Jesus restores the man’s supernatural hope. Through the healing of grace, received from Jesus, this man can now receive the Word of God and through the same grace speak the Word of God in thought, word and deed.
We may not have any physical problem with our hearing or our ability to speak, but do we have a problem with our spiritual hearing and speech. In other words, do we truly listen and allow the Word of God to penetrate us and to transform us, to change us? For all of us, we may develop, however slowly, a deafness in our receiving the Gospel and a muteness in speaking the Gospel; the noise and clamor of the world can drown out the whisper of God and we can only have the things and cares of this world ever in our ears and on our lips.
We can allow ourselves to be deaf to Jesus’ call to conversion in our daily live and so lose our ability to speak and even more importantly lose our ability to live the Gospel we have heard (remember, we speak the truth more by living it than by preaching it). So the Church in the prayers of her sacraments constantly reminds us of our need to ask God for the grace of healing of our ears, of our hearts and minds, so we can speak the truths of the Gospel to others with our mouths and more importantly with our actions.
In the earliest times of the Church’s life, and even till today, the Church in administering her sacraments which dispense the healing power of Jesus, of God, uses the same gestures that Jesus used in today’s Gospel. At the moment of baptism, the priest prays over the one to be baptized, or should I say Jesus through the priest prays over the one to be baptized, and He uses the priest’s finger to make a sign of the cross over their mouth and ears, saying, “May the Lord Jesus who made the deaf hear and the dumb speak, grant that at the proper time you may hear his Word and proclaim the Faith.”
And today at this Mass, and at every Mass, just before the Gospel was proclaimed we made the sign of the cross on our forehead, on our lips and over our heart. Hopefully we thought about what this gesture means and why we do it just before the proclamation of the Gospel. The signing is a plea to the Lord for the grace each one of us absolutely needs in order to allow the Word of God to be always on our minds, on our lips and in our hearts. And more deeply it means that Gospel should be deeply rooted in our very person, penetrating and renewing the faculties of our soul, of our very being. The listening to the Word of God, each and every week at Sunday Mass and in our daily reading of it should change us; it has the power to do so if we let it. It should penetrate our hearts and minds so we can live what we have heard: in thought, in word and in deeds; but we have to commit ourselves to doing so. Recall what we pray during the Confiteor- “I have sinned through my own fault, in my thoughts, and in my words, in what I have done and what I have failed to do”. The reading and taking into ourselves as our own the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the antidote or cure for our sins of commission and omission. We receive the Gospel so we can be healed of our sins and begin to live what Jesus asks us to live. We allow it to take root in us, to affect the way we live each day, less we become hearers of the Word only and not doers of the Word, thus deceiving ourselves.
In the healing in today’s Gospel we can see the healing that our Lord wishes to perform in our souls. He frees this man from sin, He opens his ears to hear the Word of God and loosens his tongue to praise and proclaim the marvelous works of God. We all need Jesus to heal us from the ways we have closed off ourselves from receiving the Gospel. We need him to come with his compassion and heal the inner deafness and muteness that creeps into our lives in order to free our hearing to listen to His words, to loosen our tongues in order to announce His words, His teachings, His truths, to the world by what we say and do. St. Augustine, in commenting on this passage of the Gospel, says that the tongue of someone united to God will speak of the Good, will bring to agreement those who are divided, will console those who weep. God will be praised, Christ will be announced…And I would add, Hope will be restored.
In this Holy Mass, as we receive the Word of God become flesh in the Holy Eucharist, along with His pierce heart still flowing out blood and water, the source the sacramental life of the Church, let us ask Him, Jesus-God Himself, to do heal us. We are like the deaf and mute man in our Gospel today- we need Jesus to take compassion on us. Jesus, the healer of our deafness, of our muteness, of our souls, is truly present in the tabernacle and in just a short while on this Altar, let us surrender ourselves to Him, because the doctor can’t heal you unless you come to him and Jesus can’t heal you unless you come to Him fully and with faith, not only in body but with your whole heart, mind and soul as well…If you only knew how much Jesus loves you in the Blessed Sacrament, you would die of happiness.” (Point to the tabernacle) Jesus is really there!!!
God Bless you!!!