Sept. 5: Catholic Christian Homily

Posted by: MBR on Wed Jul 21st, 2021 3:04 am

July 21 Wednesday (St. Lawrence of Brindisi, Priest, Doctor of the Church): https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-lawrence-of-brindisi Mt 13:1-91 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2 And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat there; and the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, 6 but when the sun rose they were scorched; and since they had no root they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell upon thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.  9 He who has ears, let him hear.” USCCB video reflections: http://www.usccb.org/bible/reflections/index.cfmhttps://catholic-daily-reflections.com/daily-reflections/

The context: Today’s Gospel passage gives us the parable of the sower, the seeds sown, and the yield depending upon the type of soil. It is the first parable of Jesus in the New Testament about the Kingdom of Heaven. It is also a parable Jesus personally interprets for the Apostles. This parable was intended as a warning to the hearers to be attentive and to the apostles to be hopeful receivers, living out Jesus’ teachings and ideas. The sower is God, while the Church, with the parents in their homes, are the teachers. The seed sown is the high-yielding word of God, which has a cutting edge like “a sharp sword” (Is 49:2), “two-edged sword” (Heb 4:12), and a purifying and strengthening power like “fire and hammer” (Jer 23:29).

Soil type & the yield: The hardened soil on the foot path represents people with minds closed because of laziness, pride, prejudice, or fear. The soil on flat rock pieces represents emotional types of people who go after novelties without sticking to anything and who are unwilling to “put down roots” surrendering their wills to God. The soil filled with weeds represents people addicted to evil habits and evil tendencies and those whose hearts are filled with hatred, jealousy, and greed. They are interested only in acquiring money by any means and in enjoying life in any way possible.  The good and fertile soil represents well-intentioned people with open minds and clean hearts, earnest in hearing the word and zealous in putting it into practice. Zacchaeus, the sinful woman, and the thief crucified on Jesus’ right side, St. Augustine, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Francis Xavier, among others, fall into this category of the good soil.

Life message: Let us become the good soil and produce hundred-fold yields by earnestly hearing, faithfully assimilating and daily cultivating the word of God we have received, so that the Holy Spirit may produce His fruits in our lives. (http://frtonyshomilies.com/) L/21

Posted by: MBR on Mon Aug 23rd, 2021 3:56 am

Kindly click on http://frtonyshomilies.com/  for missed Sunday and weekday homilies.

Aug 23-28: Aug 23 Monday (St. Rose of Lima, Virgin): https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-rose-of-lima Mt 23:13-22: 13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither enter yourselves, nor allow those who would enter to go in. 15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you traverse sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you  make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves. 16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, `If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ 17 You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred? 18 And you say, `If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind ones, which is greater, the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?20i One who swears by the altar swears by it and all that is upon it;21one who swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it;22one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who is seated on it. USCCB video reflections: http://www.usccb.org/bible/reflections/index.cfmhttps://catholic-daily-reflections.com/daily-reflections/

The context: It is the third day of the original “Holy Week” in Jerusalem, a day of controversy and personal attacks.  The Master is under fire, and challenges the religious leaders of Israel, pronouncing the first three of the eight woes Jesus would levy levies against the religious leaders, calling them hypocrites and publicly humiliating them. The Judeo-Christians of Matthew’s early Christian community argued that the Gentile Christians should follow all Torah laws, oral laws and oral traditions. Matthew’s account reminds them of the criticism Jesus laid against the scribes and Pharisees in today’s Gospel passage.  Sins of the Scribes and Pharisees:  Matthew 23 gives us the Master’s scathing condemnation of the Jewish leadership, expressing the rolling thunder of Jesus’ anger and sorrow at the hypocrisy or double standard of the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus levels three accusations against the Pharisees: 1) they do not practice what they preach, 2) they adopt a very narrow and burdensome interpretation of the Torah, and 3) they seek public acknowledgment and glory for themselves rather than for God. Jesus calls them hypocrites because i) although they know that the essence of religion is loving one’s neighbors, seeing God in them, they teach that external observance of man-made laws alone is the real essence of religion; ii) although they are zealous missionaries in inviting converts to Judaism, they overburden the converts with man-made laws and regulations as the essence of Judaism; and iii) they try to bluff God by misinterpreting the Law and misleading the people. Jesus gives the example of swearing and accuses them of cleverly evading binding oaths and solemn promises by falsified interpretations.

Life message: 1) What Jesus wants is a pure heart, with no element of deceit. We should not follow the dog-in-the-manger policy of the Pharisees by not keeping God’s commandments ourselves and not allowing others to keep them. 2)  Let us avoid frivolous swearing and oaths and all forms of hypocrisy and superstition in our religious life. (Fr. Tony) http://frtonyshomilies.com/ (L/21)

Posted by: MBR on Wed Aug 25th, 2021 4:09 am

Aug 25: Wednesday (St. Louis) https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-louis-of-france , St. Joseph Calasanz, Priest https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-joseph-calasanz ): Matthew 23:27-32: 27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. 29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 saying, `If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 Thus you witness against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. USCCB video reflections: http://www.usccb.org/bible/reflections/index.cfmhttps://catholic-daily-reflections.com/daily-reflections/

The context: Today’s passage, again taken from chapter 23 of Matthew’s Gospel, gives the seventh and eighth accusations made against the Pharisees on the third day of the original “Holy Week” in Jerusalem, as Jesus addressed them in the Temple precincts. Jesus told them plainly that they were whitewashed tombs containing rotten stuff inside.

Hypocrisy exposed:  Jesus compared the scribes and Pharisees to the tombs on the sides of the road leading to Jerusalem. In preparation for the three major Jewish feasts, the Scribes and Pharisees used to have these tombs whitewashed, so that the pilgrims would not be ritually defiled by unknowingly walking over one. In this seventh charge, Jesus accused the Pharisees of moral filth, of hiding injustice and immorality inside themselves and covering the corruption with “whitewash” — the pretenses of piety and religious fervor. In his eighth and final indictment, Jesus also criticized their false zeal in decorating the old monuments and rebuilding new monuments for the past prophets who had been persecuted and murdered by the forefathers of the Pharisees because these modern Pharisees had neither learned nor been changed by the messages of the now-dead prophets.

Life messages: 1) We need to be men and women of integrity and character without any element of hypocrisy in our Christian life. 2) We should not make a show of holiness and religious fervor when we are not internally holy. Here is St. John Chrysostom’s (4th century) comment on the matter: “You have been counted worthy to become temples of God. But you have instead suddenly become more like sepulchers, having the same sort of foul smell. This is dreadful. It is extreme wretchedness that one in whom Christ dwells and in whom the Holy Spirit has worked such great works should turn out to be a sepulcher, a place for death, carrying a dead soul – a soul deadened by sins, a soul paralyzed – in a living body(Fr. Tony) http://frtonyshomilies.com/ (L/21)

Posted by: MBR on Thu Aug 26th, 2021 3:12 am

Aug 26 Thursday: Matthew 24: 42-51: 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect. 45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. 47 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 48 But if that wicked servant says to himself, `My master is delayed,’ 49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eats and drinks with the drunken, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, 51 and will punish him, and put him with the hypocrites; there men will weep and gnash their teeth. USCCB

video reflections: http://www.usccb.org/bible/reflections/index.cfm; https://catholic-daily-reflections.com/daily-reflections/

The context: The central theme of today’s Gospel passage is the necessity for Faith and vigilant preparedness in the lives of Christ’s followers. The passage contains a pair of short parables in which the chief characters are a master (representing the risen Jesus), and his servants (Jesus’ followers, ourselves). Jesus warns the disciples that they must be prepared at all times because the Son of Man will come at an unexpected hour. According to the Fathers of the Church, Jesus’ words in this passage have two senses. In the narrower sense, the words refer to the Second Coming of Jesus, but in the broader sense they refer to the time of our own death, when God will call us to meet Him and to give Him an account of our life on earth. Jesus wants all of us to be ready at every moment to do God’s will by loving others through humble, sacrificial service.

Steadfast Faith and eternal vigilance: In the first part of this discourse, prior to today’s Gospel, Jesus teaches the disciples the need for constant vigilance, using the mini parable of the thief and the treasure. We should not lose our treasure of Divine grace or close relationship with Jesus, like the man who awoke one morning to discover that a thief had stolen his wealth in the night.  In the second part (today’s Gospel), Jesus exhorts the disciples to be steadfast in their Faith and ever vigilant. When he had to be away from home, a master would make a servant his steward and entrust to him the management of the household. A trusted steward was expected to run his master’s house well, to govern the master’s servants, and to administer the master’s estate. When his master was not at home, a wise and trustworthy steward was ever vigilant. He prepared himself for his master’s return at any time of the day or night by always doing his duties faithfully. Jesus illustrates the same point by using another mini parable of the foolish and wicked steward who got drunk and was caught red-handed by his master.

Life message: 1) These parables encouraging “wakefulness” and “preparedness” are addressed to all believers. Since the time of our death is quite uncertain, we, too, must be ever ready to meet our Lord at any moment. Our Master should find us carrying out our tasks of love, mercy and service, rather than leaving things undone or half-done or postponed. He should also find us at peace with God, ourselves and with our fellowmen (Eph 4:26) (Fr. Tony) http://frtonyshomilies.com/ (L/21)

Posted by: MBR on Fri Aug 27th, 2021 3:44 am

Aug 27 Friday (St. Monica):

https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-monica

Mt 25:1-13: 1 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be compared to ten maidens who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; 4 but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5 As the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. 6 But at midnight there was a cry, `Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7 Then all those maidens rose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, `Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise replied, `Perhaps there will not be enough for us and for you; go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast; and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other maidens came also, saying, `Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 …13

USCCB video reflections: http://www.usccb.org/bible/reflections/index.cfm; https://catholic-daily-reflections.com/daily-reflections/

The context: Today’s parable, taken from Matthew’s Gospel, brings the usual warnings about preparation for the end of our own world, the end of our own times, and our own passage to another world.  The parable tells us that a searching, watching, and growing heart is essential for a lively, dynamic Faith in God; it also asks us whether we are ready for these events and how we are preparing for them.

The parable: Since a wedding was a great occasion, the whole village would line up at the sides of the road to wish God’s blessings on the bride and groom in procession.  The invited ones would join the procession, which started from the bride’s house, and ended at the groom’s house to take part in the week-long celebration. Since the bridegroom might come to the bride’s house unexpectedly, the bridal party had to be ready at any time, with virgins carrying lighted torches and reserve oil in jars.  The five foolish virgins who could not welcome the groom’s party lost not only the opportunity of witnessing the marriage ceremony, but also of participating in the week-long celebration that followed.  The local meaning is that the foolish virgins represent the “Chosen People of God” who were waiting for the Messiah but were shut out from the Messianic banquet because they were unprepared.  The universal meaning is that the five foolish virgins represent those who fail to prepare for the end of their lives and for the Final Judgment. They do not put their Faith in Jesus and live it out by keeping Jesus’ Commandment to love others as Jesus Himself did.

Life messages:  1) We must be wise enough to remain ever prepared:  Wise Christians carefully make their daily choices for God. They are ready to put the commandment of love into practice by showing kindness and forgiveness.   2) Let us be sure that our lamps are ready for the end of our lives: Spiritual readiness, preparation and growth come as a result of intentional habits built into one’s life.  These include taking time for prayer and being alone with God; reading God’s Word; leading a Sacramental life; cooperating with God’s grace by offering acts of loving service to others; practicing moral faithfulness, and living always in loving obedience to Him(Fr. Tony) http://frtonyshomilies.com/ (L/21)

Posted by: MBR on Sat Aug 28th, 2021 3:53 am

Aug 28 Saturday (St. Augustine, Bishop, Doctor of the Church)

https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-augustine-of-hippo : Matthew 25:14-30 : 14 “For it will be as when a man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property; 15 to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them; and he made five talents more. 17 So also, he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, `Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I  have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, `Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the  joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, `Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, `Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the  joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, `Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and  gathering where you did not winnow; 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, `You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed, and gather where I have not winnowed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.’  USCCB video reflections: http://www.usccb.org/bible/reflections/index.cfm; https://catholic-daily-reflections.com/daily-reflections/

The context: The three parables in the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew (The Wise and Foolish Virgins, The Talents, The Last Judgment) are about the end times, the end of the world, and the end of our lives. The parable of the talents is an invitation for each one of us to live in such a way that we make the best use of the talents God has given us. Then, at the hour of our death, God will say: “Well done, My good and faithful servant! Come and share the joy of your Master.” The parable challenges us to ask the questions: Are we using our talents and gifts primarily to serve God? Are we doing everything we can to carry out God’s will? The story: A very rich person, about to set off on a journey, entrusted very large sums of wealth (talents), to three of his slaves, each according to his personal ability:  five, two, and one. Through skillful trading and investing, the first and second slaves managed to double their master’s money. Afraid of taking risk and lazy by nature, the third slave buried his talent in the ground. On the day of accounting, the master rewarded the two clever slaves (“Come, share your master’s joy.”), but punished the third slave whom he calls “wicked and slothful” (v. 26). Life messages: 1) We need to trust God enough to make use of the gifts and abilities we have been given. Everyone is given different talents and blessings by God. So, we should ask ourselves how we are using our particular gifts in the service of our Christian community and the wider society. 2) We need to make use of our talents in our parish. We should be always willing to share our abilities in the liturgy, in Sunday school classes and in social outreach activities like feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, visiting the sick and the shut-ins. 3) We need to trade with our talent of Christian Faith: All of us in the Church today have received at least one talent. We have received the gift of Faith. Our responsibility as men and women of Faith is not just to preserve and “keep” the Faith but to live it out daily and pass it on faithfully to the next generation in our family and in our parish community. (Fr. Tony) http://frtonyshomilies.com/ (L/21)

Posted by: MBR on Mon Aug 30th, 2021 3:30 am

Aug 30 Monday: Lk 4:14-30Jesus in the synagogue at Nazareth 14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee, and a report concerning him went out through all the surrounding country. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. 16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, on the Sabbath day. And he stood up  to read; 17 and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the place where it was written, 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” 20 And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 And all spoke well of him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth; and they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” (((?” 23 And he said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, `Physician, heal yourself; what we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here also in your own country.`” 24 And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his own country. 25 But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there came a great famine over all the land; 26 and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” 28 When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. 29 And they rose up and put him out of the city and led him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw him down headlong. 30 But passing through the midst of them he went away. USCCB video reflections: http://www.usccb.org/bible/reflections/index.cfmhttps://catholic-daily-reflections.com/daily-reflections/ Tony (http://frtonyshomilies.com/) L/21

Today’s Gospel presents the reaction of Jesus’ fellow- townsmen, to the “Inaugural Address” offered them at a synagogue in Nazareth when Jesus visited the town as a rabbi with a band of disciples.  The reading shows us how Jesus faced skepticism and criticism with prophetic courage. The incident reminds us that we should have and show the courage of our Christian convictions daily as we live in our communities, especially when we face hatred and rejection because of our Christian Faith and its practice

Amazement turns to hatred.  The first reaction of the people in the synagogue to Jesus’ words was astonishment.  They were amazed that one of their fellow villagers could speak with such grace, eloquence and authority.  But their amazement turned into displeasure when Jesus speaking as a prophet, (different from the image of the miracle-worker that people wished to see), claimed identity with the Messiah described by Isaiah. That claim turned Jesus’ fellow-townsmen’s displeasure into anger, then hatred. They challenged Jesus’ Messianic claim, asking, “Isn’t this the son of Joseph?”   They could not understand how a mere carpenter from their hometown Nazareth, could be the Messiah, who would liberate them from Roman rule and reestablish the Davidic kingdom. Jesus’ reaction to His people’s skepticism: Jesus reacted to their negative attitude with the comment, “No prophet is accepted in his native place.”  Next, he referred to the Biblical stories of how God had blessed two Gentiles, while rejecting the many Jews in similar situations, precisely because those Gentiles were more open to the prophets than the Jewish people.  Jesus reminded them of the Gentile widow of Zarephath, in Lebanon (1 Kgs 17:7-24).  The Prophet Elijah stayed with her and her son during the three-and-a-half-year drought, fed them miraculously and, later, raised her son from death.  Then Jesus described how Naaman, the pagan military general of Syria, was healed of leprosy by Elisha, the prophet.

Life messages: 1) We need to face rejection with prophetic courage and optimism, when we experience the pain of rejection, betrayal, abandonment, violated trust, neglect, or abuse from our friends, families, or childhood companions.  2) Let us not, like the people in Jesus’ hometown, reject God in our lives.  Are we unwilling to be helped by God, or by others?   Does our pride prevent us from recognizing God’s direction, help, and support in our lives through His words in the Bible, through the teachings of the Church and through the advice and examples of others?  3) We must have the prophetic courage of our convictions. This passage challenges us to have the courage of our Christian convictions in our day-to-day lives in our communities, when we face hatred and rejection because of our Christian Faith. (http://frtonyshomilies.com/) L/21

Posted by: MBR on Tue Aug 31st, 2021 3:30 am

Aug 31 Tuesday: Lk 4:31-37: 31 And he went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And he was teaching them on the Sabbath; 32 and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word was with authority. 33 And in the synagogue, there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon; and he cried out with a loud voice, 34 “Ah! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” 35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm. 36 And they were all amazed and said to one another, “What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” 37 And reports of him went out into every place in the surrounding region. USCCB video reflections: http://www.usccb.org/bible/reflections/index.cfmhttps://catholic-daily-reflections.com/daily-reflections/ Tony (http://frtonyshomilies.com/) L/21

The context: After his sad experience with fellow-townsmen in, Nazareth, Jesus made the city of Capernaum on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, the center of the fishing business a base for a Messianic preaching and healing mission. The people were impressed by the authority with which Jesus taught. The Old Testament prophets had taught using God’s delegated authority, and the scribes and Pharisees taught quoting Moses, the prophets and the great rabbis. But Jesus taught using His own authority and knowledge as God. Perfect knowledge of God, His Father, perfect obedience to God His Father’s will, and absolute confidence in God, His Father, were the sources of Jesus’ authority. The second part of today’s Gospel describes a healing by exorcism, which Jesus performed in the synagogue. We are told how, using His authority as God, cast out the devil by just one command: “Be silent, and come out of him!” The demon obeyed at once, throwing the man it had possessed to the floor in the midst of the people in the synagogue on its departure. The people were impressed with Jesus’ power and authority that could command even evil spirits.

 Life messages: 1) Our Faith is based on the Divinity of Christ, demonstrated by Jesus’ miracles, which in turn give authority and validity to Jesus’ teaching and promises. Hence, let us accept Jesus’ teachings, even if some of them are mysteries beyond our understanding 2) Let us read the authoritative word of God every day and assimilate it into our lives. 3) In our illnesses, let us confidently approach Jesus the healer with trusting Faith first, then go to the doctors who are the ordinary instruments of Jesus’ healing ministry in our midst. (http://frtonyshomilies.com/) L/21

Posted by: MBR on Sun Sep 5th, 2021 5:28 am

Introduction: Today’s Scripture readings from Isiah, James and Mark give us two challenges: 1) Ask God’s help to open our spiritually blind eyes, deaf ears and mute tongue. 2) Share in Jesus’ healing ministry by lending to him our eyes, ears, tongues, and hearts.

Homily starter anecdote: The “little monk” Telemachus opened the blind eyes of the  mighty Roman Empire by risking his own life. This V century Turkish monk travelled to Rome to stop the barbarian, entertainment  game of “Gladiatorial fight to death” of slaves, perpetuated by a Christian Roman Emperor and  his Christian citizens.

Scripture lessons: First reading from  Is 35:4-7: Foretelling the future messianic ministry of Jesus, Isiah introduces a God whose eyes are focused on the helpless and who heals the blind, the deaf the lame and the mute.

The responsorial psalm (146) praises a God who gives sight to the blind, raises the downtrodden and welcomes strangers.

The II reading from St. James’ Epistle (2:1-5) reminds us that as shearers in Christ’s healing ministry, we must practice Christian social justice by  showing no partiality by shaming the poor by denying their rights  and by  favoring the rich. Instead, we must practice Christ’s option for the poor.

Today’s gospel story explains how Jesus fulfills prophet Isiah’s prophecy by healing a deaf-mute in six stages in an audiovisual way. Jesus i)separates him from the crowd ii)looks to heaven and groans iii) puts his fingers in his ears iv) applies saliva on his tongue v) pray once again  and vi) gives the command “Ephatha” or “be opened.”

Life messages:1) We need to pray daily for healing from our spiritual blindness to see God’s presence in others, spiritual deafness to attentively listen to the word of God and the cry and needs of others, and our spiritual muteness to praise and worship God loudly and vibrantly during our family prayers at home and our liturgical prayers and hymns during the Holy Mass.

2) We need to share in Jesus’ healing ministry by lending him our eyes, ears, tongues, hands, feet, our hearts  and all our talents and blessings so that he may use them for granting all sorts of healing to people around us in our homes, parishes, institutions, and society