September 06, 2015 - 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church
The man’s ears were closed, unable to hear. Jesus opens them. The man’s tongue was silenced. Jesus touches it and the man is able to speak.
Having been unable to hear, a whole new world of sound and speech is now open to him.
What was closed is now open. This the what happens when Jesus heals us. What was closed is open. So what is closed in us?
We are resistant and our resistance closes us in on ourselves. We don’t want a new world opened to us. Sometimes we are content to keep things just the way they are. Don’t go changing things. You’ve changed enough already.
We are judgmental and our judgmentalism closes us. Saint James talks about this: You pay attention to the man with the fine clothes while ignoring the shabbily dressed poor man.
Do we think God favors the rich over the poor? For God there is no distinction between the two. All people are God’s children.
When we make distinctions among ourselves we close ourselves to the gift that each human person is.
We are closed. And there are many other behaviors that show that we are closed: stubbornness, addictions and fixations, anger, hostility, restlessness, complacency.
The Prophet Isaiah says God is not resistant, God is not judgmental, God is not closed. So we make ourselves the opposite of God. Resistant, judgmental, closed.
Isaiah goes on to say: Here is your God who comes to save you. God will open the eyes of the blind. And clear the ears of the deaf. God will make the lame leap and the mute speak.
And we see Jesus doing just that in the Gospel. The man is healed and made whole. Do we want that in our lives? Do we want to be healed?
Jesus longs to touch our lives. Jesus desires to heal us. Jesus is our God who wants to come to save us.
There is not a single one of us who does not need some kind of healing. For some it may be physical healing. But for many it may simply be healing from the hurts of life.
Healing from a feeling of distress or unhappiness. Healing from worry about the future. Healing from anxiety about a family member or friend. Healing because of an unresolved issue or conflict that’s gnawing away inside.
What is stopping us from singing out and leaping for joy? We are closed.
The story about Jesus healing the man who could not speak and could not hear is a story for us. It is our invitation to be open.
Can we allow ourselves to be healed of our impairments and become the sons and daughters God intends us to be?
What do we do? Can we ask Jesus to lay his hands on us? Can we ask Jesus to stick his fingers in our ears? Can we ask Jesus to place his hands on our hearts? Can we ask Jesus to touch our lives and open us?
When we do, the deaf will hear and the dumb speak. The lame will leap and we shall all sing praise to the glory of God.