September 9 - Twenty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time: The gift of receiving and the gift of transmitting

September 6th, 2018

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First Reading  Isaiah 35:4-7a

Isaiah prophesies about God's vindication.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 146:7,8-9,9-10

A song of praise to God

 

Second Reading  James 2:1-5

James teaches that there is to be no partiality within the Christian community.

 

Gospel Reading Mark 7:31-37

 

The healing which is recorded in the Gospel, which follows the pattern of healings in Mark, is intended to be read as one more indication of the arrival and nature of the messianic times. Each healing and each miracle is like a pointer to one more aspect of Jesus as ‘the Christ’. At the end of the healing, the crowd’s reaction and amazement is a direct allusion to the reaction described in Isa 35:5-6; and for Mark, the healing taken with the reaction is an indication that the glorious future, which was long awaited, is already a reality in Jesus. St John gives us the key to interpret Jesus’ miracles. Whereas the other evangelists refer to the miracles as “wonders” or “powers”, John calls them “signs”; for him the miracles point beyond themselves to the “kingdom of God”.  The gift of new hearing allows us to hear the word of God in our gatherings, in the situations and ups and downs of life, and in our consciences. We can come to know that God loves us, cares for us, and calls us to be his ministers and his witnesses. The gift of new speech allows us to praise him in prayer, to proclaim the truth to sisters and brothers, and to announce the good news of Jesus. God’s gift to us is the gift of receiving and the gift of transmitting. We are enabled to hear the word of God, and we are empowered to communicate the word of God. In opening our ears and lips, Jesus gathers us up into his own divine life.