September 6, 2015
ORDINARY 23 (B)
He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.
- Mark 7: 37
A woman of advanced age began to have hearing problems & finally gave in to suggestions from family members that she consult with an ear specialist….
After the doctor made a thorough examination, he said to her, “You have a condition which can be corrected by minor surgery. I suggest we do it as soon as possible. This will give us the best chance to correct your hearing problem.” But she responded, “There will be no operation, thank you. I don’t want to correct my hearing problem. I’m eighty-nine years old & I’ve heard enough!”
Such a feeling should be no stranger to us. We have to endure it daily when we turn on the TV news. The reports of violent crimes, corruption in high places, conflicts between nations & peoples, dishonest business practices: all clearly indicate that the Good News of the New Testament is not being heard nearly enough. The world, it seems, has a hearing problem.
Jesus employed many different ways of communicating the Good News of God’s love to His disciples. He instructed them through prayer, through the Scriptures, through ordinary conversation, through parables, & today, we see that he instructed them through miracles.
We need to have our ears opened so we can hear clearly His message that God is with us & will never abandon us, even in the midst of strife & catastrophes. Our tongues need to be loosed so that we can convey that same message clearly.
Three people were talking about various modern translations of the Bible. One said, “I like the ‘New English’ version. It’s easier reading than all the older versions.” Another said, “I prefer the New Jerusalem Bible.” The third person said, “I know an even better translation. I like my mother’s translation the best. She translated the Bible into life, & it is the most convincing translation I have ever seen. She was a loving person who always took the needs of others seriously, which is precisely what Jesus did.”
Jesus is saying to us now, this is where it all comes together. This is the fruit of all the worship, the prayer, the Scripture study & the theological probing. If we Christians ever decide to put our full faith & trust in God enough to do it His way, then we will begin to get the world’s attention. If others can see the power of our faith at work in our lives, it can begin to break through their deafness.
We live in a time of militant secularism, which tries to tell us we do not need anything beyond ourselves to define ourselves. We, for our part, need to give them evidence of a transcendent deity Who can provide what we humans alone cannot provide: meaning & purpose in life – and indeed, the meaning of life itself. AMEN!