Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
God is good. I can say that wholeheartedly because I have experienced it. I have reflected on my life, and all the disparate strands of decisions I’ve made—yet I see the hand of God in it, guiding me all along. God is good, even clever!
“Praise the Lord, my soul!” (Ps 146:1b) I have to energize my soul sometimes; it gets low on fuel and becomes complacent. I ask myself, why are you cast down, my soul? Why groan within me? Hope in God! (see Ps 42-43) I take a breather and look back at all the things that have happened. I look at all the things I have, and I am thankful once again. Praise the Lord, my soul, for He is good! His mercy endures forever.
Jesus does all things well (see Mk 7:37); he has mercy and compassion upon all who call him. He is a wonderworker. He made someone to hear again—without prescription hearing aids. He also cleared up his stutter—without years of speech therapy. We believe it happened—and Mark’s account puts it in very down-to-earth terms.
We heard it in poetic and spiritual terms in Isaiah:
“Then the lame shall leap like a stag, and the mute tongue sing for joy. For waters will burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the Arabah.” (Is 35:6)
And we hear all the wonders Jesus does in Matthew:
“The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the deformed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind able to see, and they glorified the God of Israel.” (Mt 15:31)
Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Did not God choose those who are poor and ill to be rich in faith? Yes, he does! Did not God choose them to be heirs of the kingdom? Yes, he does! (see Jas 2:5) Blessed are the poor in spirit, which includes the sick, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (see Mt 5:3)
We ask the Lord Jesus to heal us today. He has done it before, and he can do it again. We are broken and unwell people. It requires humility to see that. When he looked up to heaven and said, “Be opened!” we can take these two words to heart. Our whole being needs opening, not just our ears or speech. We need to be open to more faith, more hope, more love. Amid our hectic, stressful lives, we always need to be conscious and open to what the present moment brings.
Reflection by Br. Luke Kral, OSB