Home Community Sunday Gospel Thoughts September 5, 2021, Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

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    Read the Gospel Passage slowly and prayerfully, perhaps several times over a few days.

    Let the Story speak to you in your own life, and don’t try to force a meaning, eg, the Story has always meant only such-and-such.

    Ask “What are you trying to say to me?” in your own life here and now, with whatever is going on in your life.

    Be ready to be surprised.

    If you feel comfortable please write your thoughts as a reply using the “submit” button below.

    Mk 7:31-37
    Again Jesus left the district of Tyre
    and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee,
    into the district of the Decapolis.
    And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment
    and begged him to lay his hand on him.
    He took him off by himself away from the crowd.
    He put his finger into the man’s ears
    and, spitting, touched his tongue;
    then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him,
    “Ephphatha!”— that is, “Be opened!” —
    And immediately the man’s ears were opened,
    his speech impediment was removed,
    and he spoke plainly.
    He ordered them not to tell anyone.
    But the more he ordered them not to,
    the more they proclaimed it.
    They were exceedingly astonished and they said,
    “He has done all things well.
    He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”


    Wonder how this would fly on the Teen Renewal page.

    “True religion is not about possessing the truth. No religion does that. It is rather an invitation into a journey that leads one toward the mystery of God. Idolatry is religion pretending that it has all the answers”. John Shelby Spong.

    Sherri Buck

    While raising my children, I often found the more their sister or brothers said to stop doing something, the more they did it. I actually laughed out loud when I read the statement “but the more he ordered them not to, the more they proclaimed it”. I’m not sure why I found it so funny, I mean it’s Jesus right? We should listen to Him! But today as I read this I thought, “you go Jesus…. Way to use reverse psychology!”

    On a more serious note, I do know and believe Jesus performed miracles. Many more than what we see in written word. But praying about this gospel, I feel like this is a lot more than a single miracle. This is a miracle that he performed on the followers. While he took the man aside and restored his hearing and his speech, he also open the ears and the voice of all the people. While the mans faith in God healed him, Jesus was the “creator” of that miracle. Today, He opens our ears to hear Him, whether it be through the gospel, our neighbors or our enemies. We need to ask that our ears be open to hear His word in our daily life. We need to be the voice that is no longer speechless to express our knowledge, to allow the spirit to use us to spread the word.

    In today’s time, it’s easy to look the other way. Condone not having empathy to our brothers and sisters. We need to pray that Jesus will perform a miracle on us to hear His message coming from others. It’s easy to “pick sides”, but it is imperative we listen to each other’s message. These are messages provided by a “healed” voice, that are landing in once deaf ears.

    While I believe this miracle happen, I believe this miracle still happens today.

    Gods blessing to all.


    Sherri, lots of wisdom in what you wrote. You are well grounded, and your prayer is connected to your real life.

    The part of the Story where the man’s friends bring him to Jesus might suggest that we learn to encounter Jesus from the people in our in life — when and if we are open to this and ready to be surprised.

    The part of the Story where Jesus takes the man aside and goes off a ways to be alone with him might suggest what Jesus does with us when we give him the opportunity in our own life.


    Sherri and Steve, I’d be interested to know what you think of this:

    “True religion is not about possessing the truth. No religion does that. It is rather an invitation into a journey that leads one toward the mystery of God. Idolatry is religion pretending that it has all the answers”. John Shelby Spong.


    Sherri wrote this:
    Here are my thoughts: I believe religion is base foundation of beliefs. It is a communication tool for prayer. While Christians all believe in Jesus. Now how we understand the life of Jesus, how we pray and what we get out of it is very individualized. For me Catholicism is the best way for me to communicate understand and believe. That’s not to say it’s the “only”religion. There are some man made laws that while may be important I think are skewed in today’s times. Like if you eat meat on Friday’s during lent you’ll go to hell. But for me, it’s something I feel like it makes lent special for me. Some religions don’t believe in praying to Mary or saints. Does that mean their belief is any less in Jesus? No nor does it mean that by praying to Mary or the Saints Catholics are wrong. Once again, religion allows us a foundation and vehicle if you to communicate the God. Each person needs to decide which religion is going to provide them with the most fulfilling outcome to bring the close to God.

    Sherri wrote this as a response to a comment: Sherri Buck

    Thanks ****. I will take it with caution. However, This quote had nothing to do with my belief. I also believe Jesus is the truth. I guess my thoughts were more toward the fact of if you are sitting in church, wondering why you’re there and walk out saying “that’s it?” Then maybe you need to look for a different religion that is going to get you to the point that you believe Jesus is the truth. I don’t always agree with the homilys and I have heard other pastors, and preachers and have walked away saying “Wow- that really resonated with me!” I don’t idolize my religion nor do I idolize those who speak. I listen for Jesus talking to me, the message is there. For me if I don’t walk away saying the homily, made me feel closer to Jesus, I can definitely say the Eucharist did. I pray that everyone gets that connection no matter what religion they are.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Phrogge.

    We can look at this Gospel Story as nice Story telling something Jesus did long ago. We can also look at it as something Jesus is offering to do now in us and in our life. But, are we even interested in Jesus doing something like this in us? Are we aware that we even need it? Or are we content to keep Jesus as we already know him, to hear his words as we have always heard them?

    A worthwhile question is am I really open and willing to grow, to learn, to let Jesus take me aside from time to time so I can come to know him in a new and perhaps deeper way in my life? This might involve taking a chance and letting the Spirit take me beyond where I feel comfortable, safe, and in control. It’s nice to have Jesus as a concept or idea of someone who was/is far away, something we believe because we always have and never really questioned. It’s a bit risky to say, “yes, but”, “I don’t know”, are you saying something to me?”, and be open to whatever come and wherever it takes me even if it does not mesh with what I already think.

    Am I willing to let Jesus out of my head and into my heart in my life as it really is, to face the reality that I need my ears to be opened? Can I ask for help without saying what kind of help I will or will not accept? Am I open to seeing the Gospel Stories as not just about the past or as “proof texts” to solidify what I already think I believe, but as Stories offering insight to my life as it really is now and invitations to go out and go deeper into the reality of Christ in my life? Am I open to knowing Christ happening continually in and around me in ways that once I would not have accepted or believed because they were not what I expected. Am I open to knowing Christ not just as an idea, but as experience?

    Basically, am I ready and trusting enough to be surprised?

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Phrogge.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Phrogge.
    Steve Karthan

    Charity and Compassion come to mind when I think about this Gospel…I have to confess that when I pray…it is not to Mary or the Saints…I feel we ask Mary and the Saints to pray for us…I’ve had this discussion with friends of mine. I might be wrong, but this is my feelings. Yes,yes we are blessed to have sooo many powerful “people” to from…but prayer is more about “me”…I might not be as Catholic as I could be…To me the most important things ever said by anyone is the Our Father and the Last Supper Body /Blood of Christ. Everything else are “tools” of Faith.KISS (keep it simple stupid) is how I try to be. Since retirement, I’ve become lazy and complacent…I pray for leadership that I have seen here, to succeed in making our lives better in whole. The Holy Spirit is truely speaking…bring as many people as we can back to Mass. I tell myself to have faith that God continues to “heal”, to allow the “deaf” to hear His voice. If I don’t “drag” or “ask” people I know to “come back”, blah,blah,blah…Thank you for everything being shared here. PLEASE continue!


    Steve,good thoughts. But, why do you have to keep beating yourself up so much? Is “bringing as many people as we can back to Mass” that important? Think about it, get creative.

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