23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Isaiah 35.4-7 | Psalm 146 | James 2.1-5 | Mark 7.31-37
Ephphatha, be opened, a simple word that has so much meaning. The readings today are full of its meaning. From the prophet Isaiah we see an image of a desert, normally considered an image of desolation. This can be a metaphor for our lives harsh, arid, difficult. But the desert can be a beautiful place if we open our eyes to see. Are our eyes opened?
In the letter of James: Do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? Fine clothes vs. dirty clothes; are we open to those around us who are different?
What happens if we do not allow ourselves to be open? When we go shopping and our favorite store is closed we are disappointed. The lights are out, the door is locked, there is no one here that we can talk to or to help us with what we need.
We sometimes are that way to others. Most of the time it’s unintentional by the words we choose or the looks we give. But when we do that it causes hurt, it pushes people away. It’s the very thing that Jesus tried so hard to overcome in those he met.
If we allow our hearts to be opened we find that welcoming the stranger becomes not a burden but a joy as we see Christ in each other.
We are a blessed parish. We find ourselves in the midst of diverse community. Different backgrounds, different cultures, where those who have plenty live next to and are neighbours with those who stuggle to have enough.
We are invited to be open to all and to see the gift that each person brings.
We have so much we must remember not to take it for granted. This is a miracle that God has given us our Ephphatha moment, let us rejoice in it.