Are You Listening? ~ The Very Rev. Lady Sherwood, OPI

1st Reading: Isaiah 35:4-7A

R Psalm: 145:6-10

2nd Reading: James 2:1-5

Holy Gospel: Mark 7:31-37

What are we being told in today’s Gospel Reading?

On first glance, it appears we are being told of healing, of the showing to us of Christ’s ability to perform miracles, of demonstrating His Divine nature. But this is only the thing we immediately see, it is not all we are being told. If we indeed look deeper at the scripture today, there is plenty which we can learn from it.

So let’s start with the first lesson we can learn here:

How often do we listen to Christ’s words? Probably at Mass.  Maybe we read our bible and hear the word that way, or we could  listen to scripture and reflections on the radio or on the television. Scripture is easy for us to listen too, but how easy is it to hear, to understand, to take it into our hearts, as to what is really being told to us?  To let it guide us, to let it give us life? The simple answer is it’s not easy, we have to want to hear the message of Christ. We have to have our own deafness cured. We have to ask Christ to help us hear Him, we have to listen prayerfully before we can really hear, before we can understand, before we are ready to help Christ with His work, before we can take our place doing His work as part of His Church.

The  deaf man we hear about in today’s Gospel could be any of us today, it could be you, it could be me, and in true fact it should be. We have to let Christ stick his fingers in our ears. To allow Him to open us to His word, His gift of life. That’s our first lesson from today’s Gospel.

Christ calls us to continue his work, to work as His Church for Him, to help spread His word, and to act as his stewards, until He returns. Our second lesson today, is as followers of Christ, it’s about how we go about doing His work. Jesus gives us a wonderful demonstration of this today. Think about the way he approached the deaf man in today’s gospel. Most of the time when Jesus cured people, He spoke to them, gave them an instruction or told them their sins had been forgiven. This time he used actions, why? Maybe because the man was deaf, Christ used a sign language to speak to him. He found a way to communicate with the man, before healing him.

That’s our second lesson, we need to find a way to communicate with people.  Our tongues are being healed so we can proclaim Christ to a deaf world. But, how can we tell the world, or even just one person, about the wonders we know about Christ, if we can’t communicate with them? Our ears have been unsealed, we know from our own experiences, that Christ can and will unseal their ears, the challenge we are given as Christians is how do we start the conversation for Christ, He will finish it if we can just start it.

Starting the conversation is difficult, Jesus started it today in sign, and finished it in words. He started it in a sign language the man understood and finished it, once the man’s ears were opened, in the language Jesus needed to use. We may need to learn a new language. We might need to learn about sport, or soap opera, or music. We might need to learn to enjoy country walks or computer games. Remember that Jesus started the conversation in the language the man understood, we need to do the same with the people we communicate Christ to.

At some points in our Christian life, we will need our ears unblocked and at others times, we will be asked to start the conversation so that others can have their ears unblocked.

Where are we today in our journey? Are we struggling to hear the true word of Christ? Do we need to let Christ unblock our ears? Or have we heard Him and are now being called to communicate His message to others? Either way, today’s gospel should be speaking to each and every one of us. Are we truly ready to listen, to hear, and to act?

Let us pray:

Lord, we praise You as our Shepherd for You are the one who speaks so that we may hear Your voice and follow You were you lead.

Lord, we Thank You O God for telling us the truth about Yourself and also about ourselves.

Lord, we confess any lack of desire or any personal failure in hearing Your voice.  Help us to have ears to hear what Your Spirit is truly speaking to us today.

Lord, give us listening ears to hear Your voice and to discern Your voice from the many worldly voices that are speaking.

Lord, open our  hearts to Your will, and please help us close our ears to the whisperings of the evil one.

Lord, today we stand as an intercessor for those who are not listening to Your Word or Your Spirit and are straying from truth.




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