Week 1 – Give us ears to listen, eyes to see

Sep 5, 2021 – 1st Reading: Is 35:4-7, Psalm 146, 2nd Reading: James 2: 1-5, Gospel: Mk 7:31-37

REFLECTION

We live in a time of great uncertainty. There is plenty going on that induces anxiety and perhaps fear: the ongoing global health pandemic, thousands of migrants seeking refuge at our borders, and climate shocks that cause prolonged drought, extreme flooding, and uncontrollable wild fires. But we can take comfort in the words of the prophet Isaiah: “Thus says the Lord: ‘Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not!’ ’’ God’s promise is not only that God will save us from these immediate disasters but will go even further. God promises to liberate and protect those who have been downtrodden and excluded for generations. Psalm 146 echoes Isaiah: “God…secures justice for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry…sets captives free…gives sight to the blind…protects strangers.”

As people of faith—as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ—we are called to help execute God’s plan, God’s message of hope for all. All of us on the planet are created in the image of God. All are deserving of dignity, respect, and the things that sustain a healthy life—of mind, body, and soul. In the second reading, James admonishes us: we as people who “adhere to the faith our glorious Lord Jesus Christ” are to “show no partiality” between the rich man with gold rings and the poor one with shabby clothes. James reminds us of Jesus’ command to love one another by breaking down all barriers that separate us: social, psychological, and physical.

Like the deaf man in today’s Gospel reading (Mark), we can seek out Jesus to give us ears to listen and eyes to see the walls that separate us.  The man, who is deaf and lives with a speech impediment, illustrates how Jesus will respond if only we ask. After begging to be healed, Jesus touches the man’s ears, looks up to heaven and implores, “Be opened!” And although Jesus instructs the onlookers to not tell anyone about the miracle he had just performed, they couldn’t help themselves from going around and shouting: “He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

May we be just as amazed by the miracles that Jesus can do for us, if only we remain steadfast in our faith and seek out His love, His justice, His healing power to save us.

PETITION

We pray for our sisters and brothers across this nation and around the globe who are suffering from global climate disasters like extreme drought, flooding, and wild fires. May we seek strength and hope in Christ Jesus who alone has the healing power to give us ears to listen and eyes to see….

ACTION

  1. Take a walk on a Saturday morning with fellow parishioners and neighbors at a monthly Prayer & Litter Pilgrimage. See https://stpatrickbridge.org/creation-care/ .
  2. Connect with an organizations calling on people of faith to protect Earth’s land, air, waterways and creatures for generations to come.

PRAYER (excerpted from Season of Creation Prayer 2021)