One of the reasons so many crowds followed Jesus was his power to heal people – we hear of him healing cripples, blind men, a man with a skin disease, lepers, Peter’s mother-in-law, a man with a withered hand, the possessed, epileptics, the paralysed, a woman with a haemorrhage, not to mention those he brought back to life. In today’s Gospel, Jesus heals a deaf man with a speech impediment. He says to him “Ephphatha” – “Be opened!”
And his ears were opened, and the ligament of his tongue was loosened and he spoke clearly.
If you want to experience the transformative power of Jesus in your life, try and ‘hear’ his Word today. Open up a Bible and read the Gospels. Apply what he says to your life. Develop a personal relationship with Him. He is more alive than you are. Ask him to speak that word into your life: “Ephphatha!” And if you are already a Christian, ask what sort of witness you are? When people meet you, do you convey to them the excitement and joy of what it’s like to follow Christ?
I had a powerful experience of Christ’s action in my life this week. As you may know, I attend a weekly Bible study with some wonderful people from the Churches of Christ in Yanchep who love God and enjoy meditating on his Word and how it applies to their lives. We have just finished a study called 40 days in the Word and were wondering what to do next. I told them I had an inspiring series of DVDs on Catholicism if they were interested in watching it. And they agreed! When Catholics go to Bible studies with Protestants and when Protestants watch Catholic movies together, you can know that God is working out something interesting in our little part of the world. By the way, if you’re wondering why I don’t go to a Bible Study with Catholics, I can tell you that I invited the people from our Catholic Church to let me know if they were interested in more faith formation activities. Haven’t had a response yet …
Bishop Robert Barron has a homily for today here. Highly recommended.
Download the readings for today (Australia):
Word format: Year B 23rd Sunday 2015
Pdf format:Year B 23rd Sunday 2015