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23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

posted 8 Sep 2018, 03:44 by OLOFC Tech   [ updated 30 Sep 2018, 01:49 by Our Lady of Fatima Church - White City London ]


We see in today’s Gospel a deaf man, who also has some kind of speech impediment, being healed in a very physical way by Jesus, who puts his fingers in the man’s ears and then touches his tongue with his own spittle. Finally he cries out the command “Ephphata”, an Aramaic word meaning, “Be opened!” Jesus is fulfilling his mission to make the deaf hear and the dumb speak, to heal and restore broken humanity – to help us once more really listen to God and to each other in the depths of our souls, and to speak words of truth and love, integrity and praise of God in our daily lives. Jesus is showing very powerfully that in the Kingdom of God no-one is excluded because of any form of disability – no-one is to be left isolated in a wordless world or rejected because of difference. There is no place for prejudice or discrimination – we are called to treat every human being with the respect, tenderness and love which Jesus shows to the deaf man.

These have been stormy days for the Church, particularly with the allegations of sexual abuse against members of the clergy in the USA – perhaps the deepest shame possible, in which some of the most vulnerable members of the Church family were not treated with this respect which Jesus shows. As Pope Francis said recently in Ireland it is a time for penance and prayer and for everything to be done to support the victims and make sure that this never happens again. It is a time of purification for the Church when we are called to return to the essence of our faith – love of God and of each other. This weekend the National Eucharistic Congress takes place in Liverpool with thousands of Catholics from all over the country coming together to be renewed in our love of Christ in the Eucharist. Three of us from Our Lady of Fatima are attending the Congress. We pray that this may be a moment of real grace and healing for the Church in Britain, helping us all to come closer to Christ, the divine healer.

With prayers and blessings,
Fr Richard, Fr Ephrem, Julia and all the parish team.