Reflection for the Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

    In many the miraculous cures the Church finds a spiritual application. This is the case with the deaf  and mute in today’s Gospel. Due to the original sin we are born deaf to the word of God. It is in the Sacrament of Baptism that we receive the gift of faith and open up to God’s message. Therefore, at one point in the baptismal ritual the priest touched the person’s ears  and uses the same word Christ used in today’s Gospel: Ephphatha ! – be open, the gift of faith is not the full knowledge and understanding of our religion give to us in some magical way on a silver tray. It is only the basic ability to learn the divine message and to understand it if we expose ourselves to it voluntarily. By reminding us today on this opening up of ears and hearts to the word of God, the Church intends to urge us strongly to listen Sacred scripture and other spiritual writings. Also to listen to homilies and other  Christian lectures. Like everything else, our  advancement in the understanding of religion is the result of years of cooperation between the baptismal gift of faith and our own efforts.
             The deaf man of the Gospel also had a speech impediment. The “Ephphtha” of our Lord also loosened up his tongue and he began to speak plainly. The ” Ephphtha” of today’s Gospel ought to remind us that we must to open to take in the message  – but also allow others to share in it with us.
             We must offer the Gospel of Christ to all who are willing to share it with us. We must preach it in word and example to all the people with whom we live, work, and associate. To all without , as St. James tell us in the second reading, favoritism or discrimination. The Gospel must preach to rich and poor Balikpapan – to highly educated and unschooled alike. In spite of his opposition to favoritism. St. James favor the poor and the dimple. He feel that God did the same by choosing those who are poor. We must open our hearts and practice the corporal works of mercy to all – but above all, to those who are The least able to help themselves. We must practice the spiritual works of mercy –  convert sinner, advice the doubtful, instruct the ignorant – to all , but in a special way, toward those who are the least able to to it for themselves.
       On order to be able to pen our hearts wide to the word of God and to joyfully share it  with all we meet – we must develop in ourselves a sincere interest in God’s word and consider it a great treasure. This interest in the word of a God as a great treasure will be the result of years of study and reflection. Let  us ask the Lord in the Holy Eucharist to help our endeavor with his divine grace. May he make us goo pupils and fervent teachers of the faith.
    May God bless you all
    Fr. Dominic
    Your brother in Christ

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