Celebrate Sunday Mass - 9.5.21

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9/4/2021 (1 week ago)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Sept 5, 2021 -- 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Catholic Online Community and Catholic Online School students...

I AM HAPPY TO OFFER EACH OF YOU AN INVITATION TO SUNDAY MASS ON THE 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time in the Catholic Diocese of Tyler.  Our participation at Holy Mass is always enhanced when we take time to prayerfully reflect on the readings. This is one of the reasons we are encouraged to read the readings for Holy Mass before we come to assist.

In our first reading for this 23rd Sunday in ordinary time, we heard the Lord speak a word of hope to the His people, the people of Israel, who were frightened. He said "Be Strong, Fear Not, here is your God. He comes with vindication, He comes with divine recompense, He comes to save you". 

We need to hear these words today! These are difficult times in both the Church, and the world into which she has been sent on mission. We need not fear. We can be strong, through our faith. The Lord is here in our midst.

Fear seems to be spreading these days. But Christians do not need to be afraid.

Jesus Christ has defeated death. He is the promised Messiah referred to in the words which follow in this prophecy of Isaiah, "...the eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf will hear".  This was a sign that the Messiah, the Anointed One, the Christ had arrived. 

And, in the Gospel we heard this morning, from St Mark, that is precisely what happens through the ministry of Jesus Christ. The Kingdom of God has come in and through the ministry of Jesus Christ. 

Jesus Christ is still with us today. He continues His messianic mission through His Mystical Body, the Church, of which we are members. 

He is healing, restoring, and freeing all who turn to Him. He comes and speaks to us through His Word, if we listen with the open ears of our hearts. 

He feeds us His very Body and Blood in the most Holy Eucharist. The great antidote to fear is vibrant, living faith. That kind of faith empowers us to live differently every day because we know we are followers of Jesus Christ, and He lives His Life in us and through us.

In our second reading, taken from the letter of St James, the Apostle explains to the early Christians - and to each one of us - that we have been chosen by the Lord to continue the redemptive mission of Jesus Christ. One of the ways in which we do this is by loving the poor, in all of their manifestations. 

We can do this because we realize our own poverty and understand that we are now rich in faith.

The Gospel appointed for today is so powerful! 

Jesus opens the ears of the deaf mute. He says "Ephpheta" (be opened). This was an Aramaic word. Jesus then placed his fingers in the ears of the man, and the miracle occurs. Since the earliest centuries of the Church, this same action, the placing of the fingers in the ears of a person being baptized, occurs. 

In fact, that Aramaic word is pronounced by the priest in the Baptismal Rite. 

And, then the priest, (or in some cases of young children, the deacon), proclaims this prayer "May the Lord Jesus who made the deaf hear and the dumb speak, grant that at the proper time you may hear His Word and proclaim the Faith".  

Jesus has opened our ears to hear His Word. He has anointed our mouth to share His Good News with the whole world. 

God bless you,

Deacon Keith Fournier
Dean of Catholic Online School

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