Twenty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time

Twenty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time

“He has done all things well”

Mark seeks by his Gospel to show that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. This week he presents Jesus as the one who heals and restores. The Jewish expectation for their Messiah is expressed in the reading from the Prophet Isaiah quite clearly, and that expectation is fulfilled in the healing of the deaf man in the Gospel. Jonathan Swift notes there’s none so blind as will not see. This week’s readings invite the Lord to open our ears and eyes.

As you begin these reflections each day spend a few moments repeating the phrase “Speak Lord, your servant it listening.” Then read the short passage from Sunday’s readings until you have memorised it. Read the questions and give yourself time to deeply consider your response. Once you have reflected for a few minutes, speak to the Lord, as you would to a friend, about what you have reflected upon.

Sunday.

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, the ears of the deaf unsealed, then the lame shall leap like a deer and the tongues of the dumb sing for joy. (Isaiah 35:5-6)

  • Which of your senses do you take for granted?
  • What do you turn a deaf ear or a blind eye to?
  • What needs healing in your life?
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about his healing will for you.

Monday.

It is the Lord who keeps faith for ever, who is just to those who are oppressed. It is he who gives bread to the hungry, the Lord, who sets prisoners free. (Psalm 145: 6-7)

  • Reflect that the Lord keeps faith in you.
  • How does the Lord rely on you to feed the hungry?
  • How does the Lord rely on you to be just to the oppressed?
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about his faithfulness.

Tuesday.

My brothers do not try to combine faith in Jesus Christ, our glorified Lord, with the making of distinctions between classes of people. (James 2:1)

  • Reflect on your experience of discrimination. Have you ever suffered from it, or imposed it upon another?
  • Reflect on how your faith invites you to see other people.
  • Ask the Lord’s forgiveness for any failures.
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about what He sees in you.

Wednesday.

Now suppose a man comes into your synagogue, beautifully dressed and with a gold ring on, and at the same time a poor man comes in, in shabby clothes, and your take notice of the well-dressed man, and say, ‘Come this way to the best seats;’ then you tell the poor man, ‘Stand over there’ or ‘You can sit on the floor by my foot-rest. Can’t you see that you have used two different standards in your mind? (James 2:2-4)

  • Does the way people dress or talk make you judge them?
  • Are you guilty of using double standards?
  • Have you ever been judged in this way?
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about his fairness.

Thursday.

And they brought him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they asked him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, put his fingers into the man’s ears and touched his tongue with spittle. (Mark 7:32-33)

  • Why did Jesus take the man aside privately?
  • Why does Jesus use his own spittle?
  • When have you experienced the direct touch of Jesus.
  • Let the Lord touch your heart with his healing hands.

Friday

Then looking up to heaven he sighed; and he said to him, ‘Ephphatha’, that is, ‘be opened.’ And his ears were opened, and the ligament of his tongue was loosened and he spoke clearly. (Mark 7:34-35)

  • What does the sigh of Jesus imply?
  • What needs opened in your life?
  • Remember times when the Lord has healed you already.
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about when he has touched you.

Saturday

And Jesus ordered them to tell no one about it, but the more he insisted, the more widely they published it. Their admiration was unbounded. ‘He has done all things well,’ they said, ‘he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.’ (Mark 36-37)

  • Why does Jesus want to keep the healing quiet?
  • What is it you admire most about Jesus?
  • Do you publicise your faith in Christ?
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about all he has done for you.
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