Homily for the 23rd Sunday in the Ordinary Time Year B:
Today Jesus’ teachings about healing and liberation are visibly shown. These practical aspects demonstrate that our salvation is at hand. Jesus liberates us from slavery, hunger, and hatred. He has come to abolish radical religious bigotry and to liberate us from the forces opposed to the gospel. Since the blind can see and the deaf hear, it demonstrates that the downtrodden are lifted up and those in captivity are set free.
For this reason, the prophet Isaiah exhorts thus: “Say to all faint hearts, courage! Be strong, fear not! Look your God is coming. He is coming to save you” (Is. 35:4-7). This is the assurance that the victims of injustice shall be vindicated. Those living in bondage shall be liberated. Class distinctions between people shall be abolished. The poor shall hear the Good News preached to them for they are enriched with faith as heirs to the kingdom (Jas. 2:1-5). Freedom, justice and peace shall return to the world and our souls shall joyfully give thanks and praise to God.
To make our joy complete, Jesus gives us himself in the Eucharist and invites both the rich and the poor to share equally. Jesus never stops healing all humanity. His power to set us free from sin and death is always at work. This healing power moved him to cure the man who was deaf. He sighed and exclaimed ” (ἐφφαθά / ephphatha)!’- ‘be opened!” the ears of the deaf man were opened (Mk. 7:31-37). This moved the admiring crowed to roar: “He has done all things well, he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.” As followers of Jesus, we are expected to do all things well. Have you done anything morally or spiritually well to help others? If “yes,” you have done noble, if “no” why not? Happy Sunday.
Fr. Cajetan Anyanwu