Sunday Reflection: 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B
1st Reading Isaiah 35:4-7a
2nd Reading James 2:1-5
Gospel Mark 7:31-37
Reflection: One of the greatest tests of life is when we find ourselves in want and there seems to be no one to help, even God seems to be silent to our pleadings. Human suffering seems to be meaningless to us, they are seen as punishment from God.
The Prophet Isaiah proclaims to us that, “Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication; with divine recompense he comes to save you.” Here the prophet invites us to trust in God amidst all the adversities that we are experiencing because God is coming to save us. God gives His healing to all of His creatures, the world, and its inhabitants. God is restoring the whole of creation to its original order. God is the God of wholeness.
In Jesus, the promise of God through the prophet is brought to fulfillment. In the healing of the deaf mute in our Gospel this Sunday, Jesus fulfills the prophecy. Jesus touches the person with the hand of God, He uses His humanity to make the love of the divine visible. The words “be open,” ushers us to the reality that divine grace is ever flowing to those who open themselves without reserve to Jesus. Our openness to divine grace makes us more inclined to God’s love.
One peculiar thing is said here that it was the community who brought the deaf mute to Jesus. We have to understand the importance of the community who believes. The powerful source of healing and union with God is the Church, the community of believers. We have to recognize the power of community prayer and sacrifices. When we gather as one in Christ, we are the most powerful in the whole world. When we pray together with faith as a community of faith, the powers of the adversary are vanquished. When the Body of Christ, the Church, is united in common prayer and faith, there is no place for the enemy of salvation, not even sickness and death.
Let us, therefore, examine our life as Christians today. God has promised us salvation, He promised to be with us in our sufferings and pain, but are we with Him? Do we unite ourselves as one Body of Christ in facing the difficulties of the present life? We can only get through all the obstacles of life when we unite ourselves with Christ. We have to share each other’s burdens with hope in God.