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Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle B

4 September 2021

Reflecting on Mark 7: 31-37

What must it have been like for that hearing-and-speech-impaired man, isolated by the profound challenges of his disability, to be drawn away from the crowd by The Healer? Trembling, he felt Jesus’ fingers in his ears. He knew Jesus was expelling the Evil One when he spat, and then his fingers were on his tongue! Immediately, the beauty of language was opened to him, and the first words he heard were Be Opened.

Be Opened. What a perfect introduction to the hearing life. Be Opened, said our first-grade teachers, who were opening our eyes to the magic of letters that formed words, that formed sentences, that formed the books that opened our eyes to the world.

Be Opened, said our blessed teachers who introduced us to Jesus all those years ago, and the life-giving Good News came pouring into our hearts. Be Opened, said our parents, trying to lead us in the way that we should go. Be Opened, we say to someone who just won’t hear our point of view. Be Opened, they say right back to us.

Imagine that the very first words you heard in your life were Be Opened. And, of course, you would never forget The Man who spoke those words to you. How blest was he whose ears were opened by Jesus.

His speaking came next, and oh, what words he had to tell! And shouldn’t that be every one of us, so in love with Jesus that our tongues are opened? Hearing and speaking, of course, go hand in hand. As Dennis Hamm, SJ, reminds us, the more attentively we hear the Gospel, the better we can speak it.

How are you “speaking the Gospel” in your life?

Kathy McGovern ©2021

Ordinary Time - Cycle B

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