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Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

1st Reading: Isaiah 35:4­7a Resp.: Psalm 146:7, 8­9, 9­10(1b) 2nd Reading: James 2:1­5 Gospel: Mark 7:31­37

During baptismal ceremonies the minister says to the one being baptized ephphatha or be opened. God wills that the ears of the person be opened to hear the word of God, the Scriptures. Being open to the Scriptures is a result of being cleansed from sin. Hearing is important because we are responsible for responding to what we have heard. Do we choose to follow God or not?

We receive grace when we receive the Sacraments. Water is a symbol of grace. In the first reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah we read that streams will burst forth when our God comes to us with vindication and divine recompense for all that we have suffered in His Name.

And what is the blessing we will receive? We will see and hear among other things who God is. We will be made whole. Even though we may seem foolish, outmoded and cast aside by the world, we will be triumphant in the Lord.

This is what really counts.

Written by Fr. Jim Curiel, OCD

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