Sunday, September 9, 2012
Isaiah 35:4-7a James 2:1-5 Mark 7:31-37
“Did not God choose those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs to the kingdom that he promised to those who love him?”
Who are the poor of the world?
We all may experience poverty in some manner during our lives. One could have all the riches of the world, be very talented, have a great job, be popular, well-educated and yet still be poor. We might experience poverty in health (physical, mental, emotional, and/or spiritual.) or in our relationships with each other. Yet according to the reading from Isaiah, it is at these times that God chooses us to be rich in faith and heirs to the kingdom. The other day, I saw a clip on television of people living in an impoverished nation. They seemed to be generally happy despite the fact that their very basic needs were not being met. They appeared to be content. It made me wonder …..Do these people have a faith that sustains them through it all?
In the gospel reading, when Jesus is curing the deaf man he says, “Be opened!” and immediately the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly.
How many of us are deaf to the word of God? Perhaps we are deaf because we are hurt, angry, self-centered, or prideful. Perhaps our ego gets in the way. When we hear the word of God, do we interpret it our way to make our lives easier rather rising to the challenge of what God’s word really means for us? In this Sunday’s gospel, we are being asked to remain open to the Word of God and allow it to speak to us? As we listen to His word, let us take the time to sit with it, ponder it, discuss it, and share it. And when we do share it, let us strive to keep it simple and clear so it can be truly understood.
Here at St. Mary’s Health System, how do we meet and minister to the poor among us? Are we messengers of God’s Word in our daily encounters? How does our deafness or lack of understanding of the word of God impede our being available to one another? “Be opened!” And may you be rich in faith and heirs to the kingdom.
Tags: gospel reading, isaiah 35, james 2, mark 7, messengers of god, pastoral care, Scripture, St. Mary's Health System, st. mary's regional medical center, Sunday Scribes, twenty-third sunday in ordinary time, word of god