Give me, O God, a heart ready to listen to Your word!

23rd Sunday of the Year - B

Isiah 35: 4-7a; Psalm 145; James 2: 1-5; Mark 7: 31-37

Read: Tell those with a faint heart: “Be brave, do not be afraid! See, your God is coming to repay you; the time for this God’s benevolence has arrived; He himself is coming to save you”. Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf will be opened. Then the lame will jump up like the deer and the tongue of the dumb will be loosened with happiness. Yes, water will flow in the desert, and in the valleys and barren lands. The scorched earth will be turned into a lake and dry land will be flooded with running water.

Reflect: In the Old Testament, especially in the Book of Deuteronomy and the writings of the Prophets we always find this invitation: Listen, O Israel (Deuteronomy 6:4); “O man, stand up on your feet, so that I will talk to you” (Ezekiel 2:4); Not listening to this voice is a grave sin. The Prophet Zachariah accused his people with these words: “But they refused to take heed of my words, they gave me their back, closed their ears so that they would not hear, and they were as hard headed as diamonds so that they would not obey the words of the God who had sent his Spirit through the prophets of the past” (Zachariah 7: 11-12).

The Prophet Jeremiah called Israel: “a stupid people with no brains! They have eyes but do not see; have ears but do not hear” (Jeremiah 5:21). God expects his people to be obedient and to live according to God’s word, but he is disappointed: O man, you are amongst a hard headed people; they have eyes to see, but they do not see; they have ears to hear but do not hear; because they are a hard headed people”. These people of Israel who refused to listen could well be each and every one of us. A lack of listening to the Bible is a sign of a denial of the Word of God. This shows a person’s inclination towards other matters that are not God’s voice, and thus create confusion. This is a serious condition, but God promised to heal this.: “Tell those with a faint heart: ‘Be brave, do not be afraid! See, your God is coming to repay you; the time for this God’s benevolence has arrived; He himself is coming to save you’. Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf will be opened” (Isiah 35: 4-5).

Pray: Give me, O God, a heart ready to listen to Your word!

Act: “Open!” (Mark 7:34). Let us open our ears and give attention where necessary, be cognizant of the pleas of our brethren that are hurt, and let us listen to the message of courage given us by God. Let us loosen the tightening of our tongue so that we will learn to recognise the Lord, to give timely consolation and to be communicative so as to be of service.


© 2022 agostinjani.org. All Rights Reserved.