The Happy Priest Reflects on the Moral Crisis of Our Times
and groaned, and said to him, 'Ephphata! - that is, 'Be opened!' - And immediately the man's ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly" (Mark 7: 32-35).
In meditating on today's passage from the gospel, we might note the direct relationship between deafness and speech. Jesus first touches the man's ears and then he touches his tongue so that he may speak.
The lesson here is very clear.
Hearing the word of God is not enough; we must also proclaim the truth.
During his first pastoral visit to the United States, Blessed Pope John Paul II said: "And so, we will stand up every time that human life is threatened. When the sacredness of life before birth is attacked, we will stand up and proclaim that no one ever has the authority to destroy unborn life.
When a child is described as a burden or is looked upon only as a means to satisfy an emotional need, we will stand up and insist that every child is a unique and unrepeatable gift of God, with the right to a loving and united family.
When the institution of marriage is abandoned to human selfishness or terminated, we will stand up and affirm the indissolubility of the marriage bond.
When the value of the family is threatened because of social and economic pressures, we will stand up and reaffirm that the family is necessary not only for the private good of every person, but also for the common good of every society, nation and state.
When freedom is used to dominate the weak, to squander natural resources and energy, and to deny basic necessities to people, we will stand up and reaffirm the demands of justice and social love.
When the sick, the aged or the dying are abandoned in loneliness, we will stand up and proclaim that they are worthy of love, care and respect" (Mass at the Capitol Mall in Washington; October 7, 1979).
The solution to today's challenges really rests with each of us. Are we going to follow Jesus or are we going to continue down the path of self-destruction?
Father James Farfaglia, is a contributing writer for Catholic Online and author of Get Serious! - A Survival Guide for Serious Catholics. You can visit him on the web at www.fatherjames.org.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: sunday homily, homily, catholic spirituality, father james farfaglia, humility, pride, humanae vita, pope benedict, pope john paul II
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