Homily for 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

posted Sep 8, 2018, 12:35 PM by Mary Tocimak

Homily for 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

           

With all the kids going back to school, I thought it would be appropriate to have a short Scripture lesson about today's Gospel from St. Mark. As a way of background, the overall theme of St. Mark’s Gospel is that he wants his readers to come to the conclusion that Jesus is the Son of God. Mark writes more of a historical aspect of Jesus’ time here on earth compared to St. John who portrays Jesus in a more divine manner.

            In today's passage, Jesus is traveling from Tyre and Sidon into the Decapolis, the area of the 10 cities. Tyre, Sidon, and the Decapolis are pagan areas or Gentile areas in Israel. Mark wants to explain to his readers that Jesus came not only to save the Jews but also to save the pagans and Gentiles. This goes against the true beliefs of the Jews because they believed that the Messiah would come to save only them and not other people.

            When the people bring the deaf and dumb man to Jesus, they do it out of love and compassion for that man. They too want him to be able to hear and speak to Jesus like they can. Jesus then takes the man off by himself to a quiet place where he can be alone with the man. This shows that Jesus loves us each individually and cares for each of us as a child of God. He lays his hands on the man as his first act of healing. During the sacrament of the anointing of the sick, the priest lays his hands on the person in the same manner that Jesus did for this man. Next, Jesus puts his fingers into the man’s ears and touches his tongue. During the sacrament of baptism, the priest or the deacon, as well as the godparents of the person being baptized, do the same. This is to follow the example of Jesus, allowing the person being Baptized to hear the message of Jesus and then to proclaim it or tell this message to others. Because Mark does not name this man, the man represents all of us. We too are called to go off to a quiet place to be with Jesus so that we can listen to him and talk with him.  However, this doesn't have to be in a church. It can be in your car, or in your office, or taking a quiet walk, or in my case on the golf course. Jesus talks to us in our conscience, that little voice inside of us that helps us to make the right decisions. He talks to us in our daydreams. He talks to us through other humans. I experienced this when others tried to get me to stop drinking. He talks to us when we read the Bible.  Yet, regardless of how Jesus talks to us, we have to be in a position to listen to him. We can't be so busy or surround ourselves with so much noise in our lives that we can't listen to him.

            Finally why does Jesus tell the people not to tell anyone about this healing?  Jesus wants them to experience his healing as power that he has as the Son of God. Remember what I said earlier, Mark wants his readers to come to believe that Jesus is the son of God. Jesus doesn't want to only being known as a healer of the sick but someone much greater. We too may have our own idea of who Jesus is in our own lives. Who is Jesus to you? Is he a friend, a Savior, someone you turn to in your time of need? To me he is all of these.  This week, take time to quiet yourself down during the day. Maybe you can turn off your radio in the car or take a short walk by yourself and allow Jesus to talk to you. He will, you just have to be ready to listen to his voice.

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