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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Friday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (1Kgs 11:29-32; 12:19): Jeroboam left Jerusalem, and the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite met him on the road. The two were alone in the area, and the prophet was wearing a new cloak. Ahijah took off his new cloak, tore it into twelve pieces, and said to Jeroboam: «Take ten pieces for yourself; the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I will tear away the kingdom from Solomon’s grasp and will give you ten of the tribes. One tribe shall remain to him for the sake of David my servant, and of Jerusalem, the city I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel’». Israel went into rebellion against David’s house to this day.
Responsorial Psalm: 80
R/. I am the Lord, your God: hear my voice.
«There shall be no strange god among you nor shall you worship any alien god. I, the Lord, am your God who led you forth from the land of Egypt».

«My people heard not my voice, and Israel obeyed me not; so I gave them up to the hardness of their hearts; they walked according to their own counsels».

«If only my people would hear me, and Israel walk in my ways, quickly would I humble their enemies; against their foes I would turn my hand».
Versicle before the Gospel (Cf. Acts 16,14): Alleluia. Open our hearts, o Lord, to listen to the words of your Son. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Mk 7:31-37): Jesus left the district of Tyre and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, into the district of the Decapolis. And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment and begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, “Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”)

And immediately the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly. He ordered them not to tell anyone. But the more he ordered them not to, the more they proclaimed it. They were exceedingly astonished and they said, “He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

“He has done all things well”

+ Fr. Joan MARQUÉS i Suriñach (Vilamarí, Girona, Spain)

Today, the Gospel presents us with a miracle of Jesus: he makes the deaf hear and the mute speak. The people was astonished and said: “He has done all things well” (Mk 7:37).

This is Jesus' biography as narrated by his contemporaries; a short but complete biography. Who is this Jesus? He is who has done all things well. In the double sense of the word: in the “what” and the “how”, in the substance and the manner. He is who has only done good deeds, and who has done them well, perfectly and properly finished. Jesus is a person that does everything well, because He does only good works, and those He does, He delivers well finished. He does not leave anything unfinished; nor does He leave it to be finished later on.

—Why don't you also try to leave everything ready now: your prayers; treating your family and other people; your work; the apostolate; your diligence to develop yourself both spiritually and professionally... Be demanding with yourself, and be also demanding, softly, but demanding, with those depending upon you. Do not tolerate any shoddiness. God dislikes them and they bother your fellowmen. Do not take this attitude just to pretend, nor because this procedure is the most profitable one, even from a human point of view; do it because God does not like “bad” works nor “good” things done badly. The Holy Scripture asserts: “how faultless are his deeds, how right all his ways!” (Deut 32:4). And the Lord, through Moses, tells the People of Israel: “You shall not offer one that has any blemish, for such a one would not be acceptable on your behalf” (Lev 22:20). Ask for the maternal help of the Virgin Mary, as Jesus also did.

Saint Josemaria offers us the secret to succeed: “Do what you should and watch what you do.” Is this how you behave?

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • “Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you.” (Saint Augustine)

  • “There is an inner closure that affects the person’s inmost self, which the Bible calls the “heart”. It is this that Jesus came to “open”, to liberate, so as to enable us to live to the full our relationship with God and with others.” (Benedict XVI)

  • “(…) In his preaching the Lord Jesus often makes use of the signs of creation to make known the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. He performs healings and illustrates his preaching with physical signs or symbolic gestures. He gives new meaning to the deeds and signs of the Old Covenant, above all to the Exodus and the Passover, for he himself is the meaning of all these signs.” (Catechism Of The Catholic Church, Nº 1151)