Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

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Lectionary: 128B
Read: Mark 7:31-37

Gospel Summary
In today’s Gospel, the people brought to Jesus a deaf man who also had a speech impediment. They begged Jesus to heal the man. Jesus touched the man’s ears and tongue, and prayed that his ears be opened. Immediately, the man was healed. Jesus ordered the people not to tell anyone, but they could not contain the good news of the man’s healing.

Reflection for Parents
In the Rite of Baptism we pray: The Lord Jesus made the deaf hear and the dumb speak. May he soon touch your ears to receive his word, and your mouth to proclaim his faith, to the praise and glory of God the Father. Amen. (Rite of Baptism 101)

Read again today’s Gospel. Listen—truly listen—for its meaning in your life and in the life of your family. What do you hear the Spirit of God speaking to your heart? Who needs to hear the Good News of this reading? How will you share this Good News with those who need to hear?

Bringing the Good News Into Your Family
Begin by inviting family members to respond to the following open-ended statements.

  1. With my ears I can . . .
  2. With my voice I can . . .

Invite family members to share what they think it would be like to not be able to hear or speak. What sounds would they most miss hearing? What would they most miss doing with their voices? Together, offer spontaneous prayers of thanks to God for the gifts of hearing and speech, and pray for all who need healing of body, mind, or spirit.

Discussion Starters
In place of questions, create two lists for the family fridge or two posters to place on or near the family prayer table. Label the lists or the posters With My Ears I Heard and With My Voice I Said. Invite family members to write things they hear and say in the coming week that express faith in God and love for God and neighbor. For example: “With my ears I heard the birds singing” or “With my voice I said thanks to Dad.”