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Liturgy

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

Is 35: 4-7a; Jm 2:1-5; Mk 7:31-37

Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication; With divine recompense he comes to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; Then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the dumb will sing. Streams will burst forth in the desert, and rivers in the steppe. The burning sands will become pools, and the thirsty ground, springs of water; The abode where jackals lurk will be a marsh for the reed and papyrus. Is 35: 4-7a

One of God’s attributes is “the liberator”. This is the attribute which this Sunday’s liturgical texts especially focus on. God frees all human beings from their sad condition of outcasts, and he frees nature from its barren dryness (First Reading). He frees us from illnesses of the heart and of the spirit, “everything he does is good, he makes the deaf hear and the mute speak”. «Effatha!» He frees the Christian from any distinctions of class, for whether we are rich or poor, we are all the same before God (Gospel).

Have you accepted, do you really accept with all your heart, the freedom offered by Jesus Christ? If you want to be set free, have no doubts, he will free you. «Effatha!» Having deeply experienced Christ’s liberation, you will be spurred on to tell others Who it is that can grant them the real freedom they are seeking.

And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment and begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man's ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, "Ephphatha!" (that is, "Be opened!")  And (immediately) the man's ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly. He ordered them not to tell anyone. But the more he ordered them not to, the more they proclaimed it. They were exceedingly astonished and they said, "He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and (the) mute speak." Mk 7:31-37

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