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Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

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Lectionary: 128
Read: Mark 7:31-37

Gospel Summary
Many people did not want to hear the words of Jesus, but the deaf-mute, perhaps a symbol of the Gentiles, wanted to hear and speak. He was brought by friends who also had faith in Jesus’ healing power. Jesus touched the man’s ears and anointed his tongue with spittle. Looking toward heaven, Jesus commanded that the man’s ears be open. At the same time, the man’s tongue was free and he began to talk. Mark’s gospel frequently has Jesus telling those cured not to say anything about what has happened, but many of the people, including those who witnessed this miracle, could not keep the news to themselves.

Reflection for Families
This gospel shows us the importance of keeping ourselves open to God’s will. We may look at the many things we own that help make our lives easier and more comfortable. But, only when we consider the difficulties of one who lives with a handicap, do we realize the value of what we might otherwise take for granted. Our ability to open our ears and move our tongues may help us communicate easily, but there is more in the message of today’s gospel. How open are we to hearing and sharing the Good News of Jesus? Do we worship and pray regularly with our family? Do we give witness to the Good News at school, work, in the neighborhood and community?

Bringing the Gospel into Your Family
Ask each family member to share one way in which they realize they are “deaf.” What is it that they prefer not to hear or refuse to listen to? Consider, then, whether or not this “deafness” is helpful or gets in the way of acting as we know we should. Help one another take steps to heal the deafness and pray with one another for each person’s success in the plan.

Discussion Starters

  1. Sometimes I am handicapped by ailments that are not physical. The one thing that most often causes me trouble is…
  2. A time when I brought healing to someone and helped them hear something in a different way happened when…
  3. Generally, I don’t like to hear bad news, but I’ve learned that bad news sometimes brings other news. One time this happened when…

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