Sunday Gospel reflections: Listen carefully for God’s presence

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

"Christ healing the deaf mute of Decapolis" by Bartholomeus Breenbergh (1598–1657). Photo: Public Domain

When Jesus heals the deaf man in today’s Gospel, he is clearly fulfilling what had been prophesied by the prophet Isaiah: when God comes, the ears of the deaf will be unstopped, and the speechless will sing for joy.

This is all well and good for the deaf fellow 2,000 years ago, we might ask ourselves, but what does it matter to us today?

One way to reflect on today’s readings is to consider the ways in which I myself am deaf and mute to the presence of God in my life: how I am too distracted to hear the beautiful sounds of creation; too preoccupied to pay attention to the goodness, the love, and the wisdom of others; too busy to listen to what the word of God is saying to me in my day-to-day life.

We believe that because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, God truly is present in our world and in our lives: this is what is being pointed to when Jesus heals the deaf man in today’s Gospel.

Let us, therefore, listen attentively for God’s presence in our lives, in the Scriptures, and in the Eucharist. For the more we come to know God’s love for us, the more will we, like the speechless in Isaiah, sing for joy —bringing this loving presence of God to our families, friends, and communities.

— Armand Mercier


Isaiah 35:4–7A

Psalm 146:6–7, 8–9, 9–10

James 2:1–5

Mark 7:31–37

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