Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. James Farfaglia

9/10/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The truth can only be discovered if the human person is open to discover it and to know it.

In Sunday's Gospel passage, the story of the deaf and dumb man healed by Jesus shows us what happens when we encounter the Lord.  Our journey with Jesus begins at our baptism; however, this journey continues and deepens as we make our way toward eternal life in heaven. As we break open the gospel passage and begin to explore some unique qualities. We discover that the man whom Jesus heals possesses those characteristics exemplifying the way in which we must live Christianity each day if we are to continually encounter the Lord Jesus.

Highlights

By Fr. James Farfaglia

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/10/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: sunday homily, homily, catholic spirituality, father james farfaglia, humility, pride, humanae vita, pope benedict, pope john paul II


CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - In this Sunday's Gospel passage, the story of the deaf and dumb man healed by Jesus shows us what happens when we encounter the Lord.  Our journey with Jesus begins at our baptism; however, this journey continues and deepens as we make our way toward eternal life in heaven.
 
We encounter the Lord when we read the Scriptures, receive the sacraments, or enter into deep contemplative prayer.  It is in these moments that he touches us because every spiritual moment is a personal encounter with the same Jesus who healed the man of this Sunday's gospel narrative. 
 
As we break open the gospel passage and begin to explore some unique qualities. We discover that the man whom Jesus heals possesses those characteristics exemplifying the way in which we must live Christianity each day if we are to continually encounter the Lord Jesus.

We notice that the man is open, in need and accepting of our Lord's   help.  These qualities characterize the deaf man's humility.  Humility is a basic virtue of the Christian way of life and a necessary virtue if we wish to walk with Jesus and experience his presence in our lives.

Unfortunately, many simply do not want to hear the truth of the Gospel. 

Many reduce truth to their own criteria.

Regrettably, we are frequently deafened by pride. 

We allow ourselves to hear only what we want to hear.

Nevertheless, the increasing number of people, especially young people, earnestly seeking the truth is encouraging. The possession of the truth becomes a liberating experience.
 
Pope Benedict XVI said, "The Truth is the Truth and there is no compromise. Christian life requires, so to speak, the daily 'martyrdom' of fidelity to the Gospel - that is the courage to let Christ grow in us and direct our thinking and our actions. But this can only happen in our lives if there is a solid relationship with God" (Wednesday General Audience, August 29, 2012).

The truth can only be discovered if the human person is open to discover it and to know it. 

In our own society, we continue to argue over moral issues.  A cacophony of yelling and name calling exists because false ideologies do not leave room for dialogue.  Instead, modern man finds himself trapped in a dark and silent cavern of blindness and deafness. 

Many cry out that a woman is autonomous from God's law and natural law, thus allowing her to make any decision that she desires over the life of her unborn child.  She is free, in the name of "reproductive health," to end the life of her own child. 

Many cry out that because of love, a man should be able to marry a man, and that a woman should be able to marry a woman.  But is this true love or is this is an infernal obsession with lust?

Can men and women be so deaf and blind that they can no longer recognize the truth of their own bodies? 

Can they be so deaf and blind  to the truth of the sexual act as God and nature intended it to be, that they turn on themselves like ravenous animals?

And yet, the root of this collapse into the abyss can be traced back to the massive rejection of one fundamental principle which is rooted in God's law and natural law: "the inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act"  (Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae, 12). 

Once a deaf and blind humanity separates sex from procreation, a deaf and blind humanity can kill an unborn child because the child becomes an unwanted result of a sexual act that is no longer open to procreation. 

Once a deaf and blind humanity separates the unitive dimension from the procreative dimension of the marital act, this same blind humanity, obsessed with sex, can pervert the unitive dimension of sex by erroneously thinking that sex between two men or sex between two women are the same as sexual intercourse between a man a woman. 

Saint Paul has already warned us about this sad scenario of our times. 

"Since they refused to see it was rational to acknowledge God, God has left them to their own irrational ideas and to their monstrous behavior" (Romans 1:28). 

British historian and philosopher Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975) once said: "Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder."

What is the solution?  The solution is not what; it is who. 

"And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment and begged him to lay his hands on him.  He took him off by himself away from the crowd.  He put his finger into the man's ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, 'Ephphata! - that is, 'Be opened!' - And immediately the man's ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly" (Mark 7: 32-35).
 
In meditating on today's passage from the gospel, we might note the direct relationship between deafness and speech.  Jesus first touches the man's ears and then he touches his tongue so that he may speak. 

The lesson here is very clear.

Hearing the word of God is not enough; we must also proclaim the truth. 

During his first pastoral visit to the United States, Blessed Pope John Paul II said: "And so, we will stand up every time that human life is threatened. When the sacredness of life before birth is attacked, we will stand up and proclaim that no one ever has the authority to destroy unborn life.

When a child is described as a burden or is looked upon only as a means to satisfy an emotional need, we will stand up and insist that every child is a unique and unrepeatable gift of God, with the right to a loving and united family.

When the institution of marriage is abandoned to human selfishness or terminated, we will stand up and affirm the indissolubility of the marriage bond.

When the value of the family is threatened because of social and economic pressures, we will stand up and reaffirm that the family is necessary not only for the private good of every person, but also for the common good of every society, nation and state.

When freedom is used to dominate the weak, to squander natural resources and energy, and to deny basic necessities to people, we will stand up and reaffirm the demands of justice and social love.

When the sick, the aged or the dying are abandoned in loneliness, we will stand up and proclaim that they are worthy of love, care and respect" (Mass at the Capitol Mall in Washington; October 7, 1979).

The solution to today's challenges really rests with each of us.  Are we going to follow Jesus or are we going to continue down the path of self-destruction? 

-----

Father James Farfaglia, is a contributing writer for Catholic Online and author of Get Serious! - A Survival Guide for Serious Catholics.  You can visit him on the web at www.fatherjames.org. 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Living Faith

Challenging the just war theory

Image of The horrors of war persist long after the shooting stops.

By Tony Magliano

Is there such a thing as a just war? Can the massive death and destruction of armed conflict ever be morally justified by followers of the Prince of Peace? For the first disciples of Christ the answer was a resounding "No!"During the first 300 years of Christianity it ... continue reading


Spiritual Childhood and Contemplative Prayer Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

One of the greatest joys in this later chapter of my life is an unexpected gift, his name is Noah. He is my grandson. He calls me Poppi. He is seven years old and so very wise. Noah continually confronts me with the utter simplicity, trust, openness and beauty of ... continue reading


How to Avoid Sliding into Pharisee-ism Watch

Image of Christ Before the High Priest, by Gerrit van Honthorst (1590-1656) hangs in the London Museum of Art.  The painting depicts Jesus, standing before the High priest - with His holy hands bound. The Priest, who at the time I thought was a Pharisee, is looking up with an arrogant demeanor and a pointed finger.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

A priest friend once reminded me that not ALL the Pharisees were so blinded by their self-righteousness that they failed to recognize that the One whom they so often sought to correct was God Incarnate. And, of course, he was correct. The Pharisees were a genuine ... continue reading


What every catechist needs but few have

Image of A complete library of books for catechists should feature the USCCB's full collection.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you're a catechist, then you're aware of the importance of your role. You provide the core of Catholic education to our youth and adults who are entering the Church. As such, you are familiar with the teachings of the Church and can probably answer most questions ... continue reading


DEPLORABLE CONDITIONS: Up to 50 Iraqi Christian refugees sleeping in areas the size of bedroom Watch

Image of Mosul, one of the largest cities in Iraq, is now completely empty of Christians as is Qaraqosh, a town dating back to 1,000 years before Christ and inhabited by mostly Christians for 2,000 years.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Mattresses scattered around church altars. Up to 50 people sleeping in areas the size of a single bedroom. Church grounds dotted with makeshift tents in 105-degree heat. This was just a few of the deplorable conditions a delegation sent by Melkite Catholic ... continue reading


Pope Francis briefed by envoy about deteriorating situation in Iraq Watch

Image of Cardinal Filoni spoke to the Pope last week. The cardinal had just arrived at the Vatican following a visit to Iraq on August 13-20 as Francis' envoy to besieged minorities there.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Back from a fact-finding mission on the deteriorating and ever worsening situation in Iraq, Cardinal Fernando Filoni said that Pope Francis "was really taken" by his description of Christians and other minorities who have been forced from their homes in north-western ... continue reading


Will Suffering, Struggle, Failure and Pain Make us Bitter or Better? Watch

Image of Because of his close communion with Jesus Christ, the Risen One who had called him in the desert, Paul cultivated an interior strength which made it possible for him to walk through the pain, to even embrace the pain, and to experience failure itself as a path to the Cross where he found comfort in the wounded side of Jesus the Savior.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

St. Paul was an extraordinary man and an extraordinary Christian. An Apostle, raised up out of the ordinary course, he accomplished great things for the Lord as he eagerly responded to His calling to build the Church and, through her, to help change the world. A ... continue reading


What Pope Francis said to make millions think again about abortion Watch

Image of On Saturday, August 16, 2014, during the apostolic visit to Korea, Pope Francis made a loud statement. However, he did not use words. He did not have to. His prophetic action brought to mind a saying attributed to his namesake, Francis of Asisi - I preach the Gospel at all times, but sometimes I use words.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

When Francis began his service from the chair of Peter, much hoopla filled the media about some alleged softening in the opposition of the Catholic Church to what are dismissively referred to as complicated "moral issues" such as abortion. Sadly, even some in the ... continue reading


DEAR CATHOLIC ONLINE: Keep it free, keep it going

Image of Keep it free, keep it live.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online is heavily invested in bringing you world class news delivered from the Catholic perspective. This service is provided for free and we intend for it to remain free for the foreseeable future. However, it comes at a cost and right now, we need each ... continue reading


You Go Into the Vineyard Too! Every Baptized Christian Has a Vocation and Mission Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The Church is a seed, sign and beginning of the kingdom, making the kingdom present in a world which is wounded by the effects of sin but waiting to be born anew. The Lord continues His work through us. We are the workers in His vineyard. It matters little what ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Second Thessalonians 3:6-10, 16-18
6 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we urge you, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 128:1-2, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents] How blessed are all who fear ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 23:27-32
27 'Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 27th, 2014 Image

St. Monica
August 27: St. Monica was married by arrangement to a pagan official in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter