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Gospel Reflection for 23rd Sunday Ordinary Time, Year B, September 9th 2018
Many healings in the gospel are about deafness. While they are about healing from physical deafness, they are also about our deafness in hearing the word of God.
Deaf people will tell us how isolated they can be. Even with sign language they can miss a lot. Spiritual deafness isolates us from the community of faith, and we may live spirituality in our own.
Our Christian faith is intensely personal, but not private! We gather faith and renewal of faith from each other, as we celebrate together in sacraments and others occasions. Without the community of faith, our faith may remain static.
We can all of us recall and remember ways in which others share faith with us that was helpful. We were taught how to pray and how to link faith and life. Some of the best lessons in faith are the example of others. To quote Pope Francis: ‘Very often it is a holiness found in our next-door neighbours that reflects God’s presence (Gaudete Et Exsultate, 7).
Opening our ears to hear the message of the gospel is done day by day by parents, grandparents, teachers, chaplains, aunts and uncles and all the people who go to make up our Christian life. This is the invitation of Jesus, to focus on his call ‘to do all things well’, as he does. Kindness, a smile, a word of good advice, a prayer shared – all are ways of opening our ears to hear the word of God.
‘speak, O Lord, your servant is listening’.
Donal Neary SJ
Editor of The Sacred Heart Messenger and National Director of The Apostleship of Prayer