Lord Jesus

23rd Sunday Ordinary Time 2015

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Gospel Reflection for 23rd Sunday Ordinary Time Year B – September 6th 2015

Full scripture for this Sunday is available on the Catholic Ireland website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.


Returning from the district of Tyre, Jesus went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, right through the Decapolis region. And they brought him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they asked him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, put his fingers into the man’s ears and touched his tongue with spittle. Then looking up to heaven he sighed; and he said to him, ‘Ephphatha,’ that is, ‘Be opened.’ And his ears were opened, and the ligament of his tongue was loosened and he spoke clearly. And Jesus ordered them to tell no one about it, but the more he insisted, the more widely they published it. Their admiration was unbounded. ‘He has done all things well,’ they said, ‘he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.’

Mark 7:31-37


Jesus the Healer.
Jesus avoids attention after his work of healing the deaf man. He’s not a quarter hour celebrity. Jesus didn’t want admiration, he wanted love to flow into and out of ourselves – doing good quietly. The best of things are ordinary. In the ordinary Jesus worked the miracle and in the ordinary we will hear new things.

Believe in Miracles?
The theologian Karl Rahner SJ was once asked whether he believed in miracles. His answer: “I don’t believe in them, I rely on them to get through each day!” Indeed, miracles are always present within our lives. Of birth, of love, of hope. The ways people get over hurts and they forgive. Someone giving a lot from the little they have. It is the world of mystery – of little miracles. A miracle is not against nature – it is something that causes faith and love.

EPHPHATHA1First reading (Isaiah 35:4-7) sees more in the desert than a flower – we see and hear beyond things to the healing work and word of the creator. Maybe we might listen to new voices about God and life in our conversations – I heard recently a young person talking about the suicide of a friend and how we really need God. His chat strengthened my faith.

Can we recover the simplicity of life with the small miracles that get us through every day? All of us have something new to say of God and of life. And we get more than we knew out of the simplicity of life.

Praise to you O lord for simple surprises in my life!

Donal Neary SJ

Fr Donal Neary SJ is editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger