23rd Sunday (Bulletin)

Today’s Scripture readings offer us an invitation to become humble instruments of healing in Jesus’ hands by giving voice to the voiceless, the needy and the marginalized in our society.  Today’s Scripture also invites us to open our ears to hear the word of God and to allow the Holy Spirit to loosen our tongues to convey the Good News of God’s love and salvation to others.  The first reading (Is 35:4-7), reminds us that God's eyes are constantly focused on the helpless.  God especially cares for "the frightened, the blind, the deaf, the lame, the mute," and He encourages the powerless to "be strong and fearless."  This is why, in today’s second reading (James 2:1-5), the apostle gives us some basic and challenging principles of social justice. He exhorts Christians to show no partiality based on external appearance and to practice God’s "preferential option for the poor."  He warns the faithful against scorning or shaming the poor while showing special consideration to the rich.  Today’s  Responsorial Psalm (Ps 146),  sings of a God who gives sight to the blind, raises up those who are bowed down and welcomes strangers.  The psalmist thanks God and asks us to rejoice because “the God of Jacob keeps faith forever,” by keeping His promise of peace and fullness of life for His people.  Today’s Gospel describes how Jesus, by healing a deaf and mute man, fulfills Isaiah’s Messianic prophecy, "The eyes of the blind shall be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped."  The ailments listed by Isaiah are symbolic of our interior illnesses: blindness to the needs of our neighbour, unwillingness to hear God’s voice and the inability to speak words of praise and gratitude.  Through this miracle story, Mark also reminds us that no one can be a follower of the Lord without reaching out to the helpless (“preferential option for the poor”).

Excerpt courtesy of Vatican Radio. You can read the full post on the site at RadioVatican.va.

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