Saturday, September 8, 2012

Twenty-Third Sunday
Ordinary Time

The picture.  What you can see from a house along the Chesapeake Bay.  It serves the thoughts that lie ahead.  Let the trees represent your ears.  Let the water coming into a little cove represent the Word of God that has been given to you.  In essence the question is this :  "Do you allow the Word of God come to you in any of the many ways that same Word comes to you throughout the course of each day of your life?"

The healing of the man who was deaf is performed by Jesus in a ritualistic way.  Jesus touches the ears of the deaf man and he puts spittle the man's toungue as well.  It very much represent the Sacrament of Baptism.  We know that sacrament when we believe that the person being baptized has his/her ears opened to hear the Word of God and his/her tongue loosened to speak the Word of God to others.  Yes, a part of the Sacrament of Baptism a willingness to open one's ears to hearing, to listening, to the words of Jesus Christ among others.  Likewise another expectation of the Sacrament is that the baptized person be willing to share the faith with others.

It is in this hearing and speaking that we can examine ourselves to look at whether we are good listeners and could speakers.  If asked about the level of their hearing and speaking abilities, there is no doubt in my mind that many would respond that they think they have heard enough with what they learned in school from study of the 99 questions in the Catechism.  These same folks would be the first to tell you they don't need to hear anything beyond that.  One could as if these same folks would use the same way of living with regard to the way they learn the value of the Sacred Scriptures.  What they heard years ago suffices today.  Yet, listen to the same folks who will tell you that everying they learned years ago is all they need to make their way to heaven.  These are the same folks who are the first to ascend the mighty chair of pontification, telling others how they should lead their livess.

Some others may be frightened at the very thought or suggestion that they have the ability to speak to others about their faith.  These folks in their fears do not realize what power Baptism has given them.  They do not realize the strength they have to help others who at heart are seeking to know more about Jesus than they know at any given time.

Our Baptism truly entrusts to us the need for our carrying the Word of God to others.  We can ask this question:  would the Church be in the challenging waters of today's world had most Catholics not pulled back from the mission to be preachers as well as hearers of the Word of God?    You know, Baptism is not a sacrament that established a private religion for each of us.  Baptism anoints all of us with the mission to carry to others the Word of God.

Our world today and the many in it are calling out to God for answers, for words of understanding.  God cannot be everywhere.  God must use the minds, hearts and skills of those who take the Sacrament of Baptism as a personal obligation to teach as well as to continue learning from the Sacred Scriptures.

So, all of us can question ourselves in regard to the way we listen and the way in which we speak about the words of Jesus Christ.