Msgr. Joseph A. Pellegrino
Twenty-third Sunday: He Touches Us
This is a poetic meditation on today's Gospel
He took him away from the crowd. He touched his ears and his mouth and said, "Be open". And the man left singing the praises of God to the world.
This is a miracle story.
This is a story with baptismal overtones, for during baptism the priest touches the neophytes ears and mouth and says be open.
This is a story about our lives with the Lord.
There is a great deal of noise in our lives. Interesting word, noise. It even sounds bad. NOISE. Say the word out loud enough and you get a head ache. There is much noise in our lives, but not just in the sense of sound. There is noise in the sense of disturbance--like static on the phone line. The radio, the TV, the phone, the kids, the neighbors, those driving down the street with their radios on overkill, are all audio noises, but there is also noise, disturbance, created by the continual worrying about tomorrow, the hanging on to the battle stories of the past. Noise. Noise. Noise.
Noise in our lives: "Did you see what she was wearing? To Church of all places? Guess who just broke up? Noise Noise Noise. Mom, Dad, can I have.....? go......? would you buy me......?” Arguments over who played what role in a movie, or who did what on a sports team. The phone rings, "You have a tremendous opportunity to save money now by having your driveway resurfaced this week instead of putting it off and have to redo the entire driveway three years from now." NOISE.
And Jesus took the man away from the crowd, away from the noise. He took him to have a personal encounter with the Messiah.
He calls us away from the crowd, away from the noise to his quiet.
--Quiet before the Lord is so important.
--A few moments before and after Mass,
--out of respect for the presence of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament,
--out of respect for the needs of others to get away from the noise,
--out of respect for our own need to listen to the Lord in the quiet.
--Quiet in our homes.
--Fifteen minutes of quiet, before the morning gets going,
--or after the kids are in bed,
--or together as a family,
-- just a little quiet time.
-- A little time to get away from the noise.
--A little time with the Lord so he can touch us.
He touched the man's ears and he said, "Be opened."
He calls us to hear.
--Hear the still small voice Elijah heard, whispering that God loves us and has a plan for each of us.
--Hear the whisper of Christ on the cross, telling us in the darkest moments of our lives that we will get through this together.
--Hear the beautiful voice of the Holy Spirit singing the Love Song of God in our hearts.
--Hear the voice of Mary, reassuring the concerned wine steward at the wedding feast of Cana, and reassuring us, saying, "Do whatever he tells you."
--Hear the voice of our conscience within, calling us to the new life of the Lord's love,
--calling us to holiness.
--Hear the Word of God.
--Alive in the Bible,
--proclaimed in the Church,
--proclaimed by the Church.
--proclaimed by the loving husband and wife in their continual gifts of themselves to each other,
--proclaimed by parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, all good people, giving themselves to the children, to others who need help.
--Hear the Word of God
-- proclaimed by children in their steps away from self centeredness.
-- proclaimed by the retiree concerned with the future of others, not just himself or herself.
--Hear the Word of God.
He touches our ears.
He touched the man's mouth and said, "Be opened".
--He tells us not to be afraid to stand up for our beliefs and our lifestyle, even if we are told that we are not in concert with modern society.
--He says that he needs our voices. He needs us to proclaim that he is indeed alive. The Resurrection continues. We celebrate his resurrection on Sundays so we can have the spiritual strength to proclaim his life.
--He opens our mouths to proclaim his praise to the world.
He drew the man away from the crowd. He touched his ears and his mouth and he said, "Be opened." And the man left proclaiming the love of God.
He touched him.
He touches us.