Mark gospel

23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

Christ The King From the Parish Priest's Desk

Called to listen and to proclaim the Faith

In today’s reading, Jesus heals a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment. This is a story about Jesus’ healing. The story begins with a rather flawed geography lesson. The sequence mentioned by Mark makes no sense but it may be that he is making a theological point because the places he mentions are the gentile surroundings of Galilee where the kingdom has been first proclaimed. The man brought to Jesus cannot hear or speak and is therefore cut off from the good news, but through Jesus’ healing touch he is restored and the response to this action is one of unrestrained praise and wonder. The people realise that in Jesus all that the prophets had spoken of so long ago is being fulfilled and Mark is also making the point that this ministry embraces Jew and Gentile alike.
By the time of Jesus many religious traditions were in place which served to differentiate between those who were on the inside and those who were outsiders. This led to divisions, inequality and oppression-the very things that the covenant was supposed to eradicate. So when Jesus reached out to the poor, to sinners and the marginalised, he was bringing into focus once again the kind of world God wanted. His was a love that included everyone and which could not be bought. In commanding that the ears of the deaf man be opened there is a message to us all, especially those who think that their hearing is perfect. Our ability to really hear the good news can be limited by many things, especially closed minds and hearts. Perhaps as individuals and as a community our prayer during this Sunday Eucharist might be that we would be opened to all.