23rd Sunday in the Ordinary Time Year B Sermon and Homily Notes

First Reading

Is 35:4-7

say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you.”

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.
The burning sand will become a pool,
the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.

download 1 23rd Sunday in the Ordinary Time Year B Sermon and Homily Notes

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 145: 7-10

They celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.

The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
10 All your works praise you, Lord;
your faithful people extol you.

Second Reading

Jm 2: 1-5

Favoritism Forbidden

2 My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?

Gospel Reading

Mk 7: 31-37

Jesus Heals a Deaf and Mute Man

31 Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galileeand into the region of the Decapolis.[h] 32 There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him.

33 After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. 34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sighsaid to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). 35 At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.

36 Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. 37 People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

Inspirational Story

Faith can move you more than by your sight

A moving story of hope, faith, persistence and the power of dreams.
In “By Faith, Not by Sight,” “”American Idol””‘s first ever disabled finalist Scott MacIntyre shares his inspiring story of being a musical and academic prodigy who prevails over life-threatening obstacles to become a pop sensation. When stage four renal failure tries to stop his dream of studying classical piano in London, Scott bravely moves forward and finds new friendships and freedom despite his blindness. Then when his kidney transplant, a painful recovery, and his sister’s kidney transplant all attempt to sideline him once more, he perseveres and makes it to the top ten finale of “””American Idol””.”
Scott defies all odds: having to dance on stage, always having a sighted guide with him, and still singing with sound monitors that quit working. Despite so many obstacles, he goes on tour with the “”””Idol”””” cast, records an album (“””””Heartstrings”””””), and finds love for the first time. Through an unwavering faith in God and himself, Scott teaches all of us that our dreams are possible regardless of our circumstances. Though he can’t see the world around him, he has always been able to see his dreams and pursues them fearlessly.

 

Sermon

1. Fear not

Today’s Word of God is highlighting many ideas for us to reflect. First of all in  the first reading, which is  taken from the book of prophet Isaiah is mentioned that the first sentence itself  is the heavenly message for all of us.  In  the Bible it is very clear that the heavenly messages are  coming with the  starting message of  “Be strong, do not fear” . That  means when we are in the presence of God or  in divine intervention, we feel the same  message within ourselves of  Be strong, do not fear.  The heavenly messengers also introduce themselves  with the same words of Be strong, do not fear. So what we understand  here is that when we are in the presence of God , there is no need to fear or worry.

Some references in the bible for the heavenly interventions.

1. Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

2. 1 Chronicles 28:20

David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.

3. Isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

4. Isaiah 41:13

For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

5. 1 Corinthians 16:13

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.

6.  Daniel 10:19

Do not be afraid, O man highly esteemed,” he said. “Peace! Be strong now; be strong.” When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength.”

7. Luke 2:10

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.

8. Matthew 28:5

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.

9. Jeremiah 1:17

“Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them.

Today many people are afraid of many things. The first and the fundamental reason for fear is that they are no  more in the presence of God. They make themselves away from God, by accepting worldly things and thus they  are suffering  with fear today.

Look at this real example of Ann Landers, a newspaper counselorre said in this way, I receive an average of 10,000 letters each month, and nearly all of them from people burdened with lots of problems in their lives. Once she was asked if there was any one of them which predominates throughout the letters she receives, and her reply was that the one problem above all others seems to be fear. Fear of many things. People are afraid of losing their health, their wealth, their loved ones. People are afraid of life itself.

2. We are bound with so many bondages.

Fear is one of the bondages. There are so many bondages that have already put us in the state of slavery. Only God can deliver us from those bondages. If we surrender ourselves totally in the hands of God, he will redeem us from the bondages.  The very moment God deliver us from all our bondages,  that is the very moment  the heavenly blessings begin to  fill  our lives, homes and the our environments.

We should understand that our bondages always block the blessings of God. Let us, therefore, identify our bondages and try to overcome them with the help of the heavenly Father and His Beloved Son Jesus Christ.

There are three stages of bondages.

1. Ignorance of God

Ignorance of God is the basic bondage. You are not aware of your creator and His care for you. Here someone must help   him and bring him to experience  God’s love.

 “There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him.”

2. Bondage in Legal areas

There are many aspects on this areas to reflect such as unforgiveness,  unconfessed sins, unholy soul, cursed objects,spoken cursed, unholy vows etc.

3. The dark force should be driven out.

Fasting  and prayers are more important to  cast out dark forces from you.

 

3. Everywhere Blessings

The moment the bondages are removed from our life, that is the very moment the heavenly blessings begin to flow in our life. God removes all our bondages and heals our inner soul, thus we receive the blessings of God.

The moment Jesus heals the blind, he feels  inner freedom and begins to experience the blessings of God in many arias of his life.

The moment God touches our life, that is the moment we begins to receive God’s blessings in many ways as it is meantioned in the first reading:

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.
The burning sand will become a pool,
the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.

 

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