Free from burden

How2ReadBibleIn yesterday’s homily, I noted that God’s Word is always related to human need. If a person is dying of cancer, the gospel is God’s strong word of resurrection. If a person is permeated with guilt, the gospel is God’s assurance of forgiveness. If people experience extreme suffering, God’s word is our refuge and strength.

If a person is under the power of the devil, to that one has come the proclamation of  liberty to captives, the recovery of sight to the blind, and letting the oppressed or possessed go free. In this day’s gospel, we are presented by what we understand as a classic exorcism, a quite dramatic expulsion of a demon from a person. The stuff of movies, Hollywood, but sadly also real life. But if this is just a narrative of particularly dramatic demonstration of the power of the Word, then how is it related to your human need? Your need on this day? Continue reading

Difficulty in Speaking

JesusHealstheDeafMuteThis coming Sunday, the 23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time in Year B, we will hear the Gospel of Mark 7:31-37 proclaimed. It is an encounter with “a deaf man who had a speech impediment.

31 Again he left the district of Tyre and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, into the district of the Decapolis. 32 And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment and begged him to lay his hand on him. 33 He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; 34 then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, “Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”) 35 And (immediately) the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly. 36 He ordered them not to tell anyone. But the more he ordered them not to, the more they proclaimed it. 37 They were exceedingly astonished and they said, “He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and (the) mute speak.”  Continue reading