23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B (Isaiah 35: 4-7a James 2:1-5 Mark 7: 31-37)
Theme: Reliable God
Today is the twenty-third Sunday in ordinary time year B. In our liturgy today, we see wonderful words of encouragement and hope coming from the prophet Isaiah. He points out the fact that amidst the vicissitudes of life God will always remain God. He is ever faithful and keeps his promises to his people. Whatever the difficulties we are encountering at the moment, no matter the challenges thrown at us, God will never desert us.
God is saying to us today that everything will be normal again and he will restore us to a greater glory. We serve a God that is faithful and also reliable at all times. He never disappoints or desert all those who trust in him. He is a covenant keeping God. The prophet is admonishing you and I that we must remain steadfast. We must trust God no matter the challenges and difficulties; for he is faithful and will never forsake those who trust in him.
Looking at the gospel reading of today, we see the fulfilment of the prophet’s assertion in the first reading. Jesus restores the deaf man. In the same way, he is willing to restore all those who come to him with faith and trust from all their challenges of life. God is ever faithful and is always willing to assist us at all times. He is always ready to restore us, strengthen us, empower us and grant us his favours.
St James in the second reading presents a very important teaching to us. He admonishes us to treat everybody as equals, without making some people feel less important than others. This is a common practice in our society; even in some of our churches it is also practiced. There are special positions for members of the community that are highly placed, while the less privileged are kept behind. We are all encouraged by St. James in the second reading to guide against such divisions, especially in the gathering of the children of God.
It is our duty as children of God to build bridges that will unite us, instead of building walls such as ethnicity, nationality, class, religion, colour and so forth. Let us try to see everyone as children of God and treat them as such. All these demarcations give rise to unnecessary division, hatred and bitterness. It is our duty as children of God to break all these human barriers and build a healthy community of God’s people.
May God grant us the grace to be true instruments of God’s presence amongst his people. Peace be with you.