Sunday Readings

Commentary on the readings for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Andrea Mardegan comments on the readings for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time and Luis Herrera offers a short video homily. 

Andrea Mardegan-September 1, 2021-Reading time: 2 minutes

Mark relates that Jesus "went out of the region of Tyre, came through Sidon, toward the Sea of Galilee, crossing the territory of the Decapolis.". Jesus liked to enter the territories inhabited by pagans. 

His mission was not to proclaim the Gospel to them, but rather to focus on the ".lost sheep of the house of Israel": He would entrust this task to his own, before leaving them. Confident in the power of the Holy Spirit, he would send them to preach and baptize all nations. But he could not resist the possibility of visiting those lands inhabited by pagans, especially those that had access to the same lake of Gennesaret, where he began his public mission. Thus he manifested his desire to bring them salvation.

Mark had told of the possessed man of Gerasa who went to meet Jesus, who had docked in that area, and after being released from the legion of demons that possessed him - who took refuge in the pigs, which died in the lake in a frenzy - he told Jesus that he wanted to follow him, but was given the task of staying and talking about "the great things the Lord has done."in his house. That man, strengthened by the incontrovertible truth of his deliverance, did not limit himself to speaking of Jesus to his own people, but spread the good news throughout the Decapolis.

So in that territory Jesus was known. Perhaps some who had heard of him noticed his arrival, and aware of Jesus' healing power presented him to the deaf-mute begging him to lay his hand on him. Perhaps they just wanted a blessing or hoped that healing could come from that gesture alone. Jesus took him in. And he did much more than they asked him to do. "He took it to the side, away from the crowd.". With this detail, in this circumstance, he wanted to emphasize confidentiality, discretion, respect for the privacy of this man so affected by disability. He wanted to give him personalized attention. "He put his fingers in her ears and touched saliva to her tongue.": the whole body of Jesus, almighty God who became man, in contact with the sick brings healing. "Then, looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to her, 'Effetha,' which means, 'Open up!'". He sighs for all the sufferings of humanity and asks the Father to open our capacities to listen to the words of men and the words of God, and to pronounce the words of men and the words of God. It is the commandment and the blessing that we all receive at baptism with the repetition of that Aramaic word of Jesus: "...".Effetha!", and that today Jesus repeats to each one of us: have an open ear, an open mouth, listen to me and speak of me, you who believe in me.

Homily on the readings of Sunday 23rd Sunday

The priest Luis Herrera Campo offers its nanomiliaa small one-minute reflection for these readings.

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