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Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle B

8 September 2015

Reflecting on Mark 7: 31-37

There are so many things that shout to us that the kingdom of God has not yet been fulfilled. War, and its accompanying miseries that ripple around the world, is the same soul-deadening sadness no matter which app you choose to read about it.

We feel distanced from it, thank God. But illness and health challenges are always right in front of us, and it seems like we ought to be masters of it by now. But, for all of our technological wizardry, those who are blind, or lame, or hearing impaired, or suffer from autism, or devastating mental illnesses, still bear witness that the kingdom is not quite here.

I think that might be why Jesus groans when he looks up to heaven and cries Ephphatha! Be opened! I imagine him, with his fingers in the ears of the man who is deaf, crying out to his Father from the depths of his soul: Father, look at all this sickness and suffering. Have mercy on these children. Open his ears. Open her eyes. Let them all be healed. The kingdom of God is here.

And immediately the man’s ears were opened. The kingdom had broken through.

And it continues to break through. Isaiah could read like this today: Then shall polio, and measles, and smallpox be vanished from the earth. Then shall those who are in pain get relief, and those who need new kidneys receive them.

In fact, if we had the will, we could wipe malaria off the face of the earth. Maybe that’s why Jesus groaned. He was begging those who have seen glimpses of the kingdom to partner with him to help make the kingdom come.

What advances in medicine have made your life easier?

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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).

Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015

Ordinary Time - Cycle B

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