Friday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time




Friday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 333

1st Reading – 1 KGS 11:29-32; 12:19

Jeroboam left Jerusalem,
and the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite met him on the road.
The two were alone in the area,
and the prophet was wearing a new cloak.
Ahijah took off his new cloak,
tore it into twelve pieces, and said to Jeroboam:

“Take ten pieces for yourself;
the LORD, the God of Israel, says:
‘I will tear away the kingdom from Solomon’s grasp
and will give you ten of the tribes.
One tribe shall remain to him for the sake of David my servant,
and of Jerusalem,
the city I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel.’”

Israel went into rebellion against David’s house to this day.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 81:10-11AB, 12-13, 14-15

R. (11a and 9a) I am the Lord, your God: hear my voice.
“There shall be no strange god among you
nor shall you worship any alien god.
I, the LORD, am your God
who led you forth from the land of Egypt.”
R. I am the Lord, your God: hear my voice.
“My people heard not my voice,
and Israel obeyed me not;
So I gave them up to the hardness of their hearts;
they walked according to their own counsels.”
R. I am the Lord, your God: hear my voice.
“If only my people would hear me,
and Israel walk in my ways,
Quickly would I humble their enemies;
against their foes I would turn my hand.”
R. I am the Lord, your God: hear my voice.

Alleluia – SEE ACTS 16:14B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Open our hearts, O Lord,
to listen to the words of your Son.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MK 7:31-37

Jesus left the district of Tyre
and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee,
into the district of the Decapolis.
And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment
and begged him to lay his hand 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,
“Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”)
And immediately the man’s ears were opened,
his speech impediment was removed,
and he spoke plainly.
He ordered them not to tell anyone.
But the more he ordered them not to,
the more they proclaimed it.
They were exceedingly astonished and they said,
“He has done all things well.
He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

Catholic Daily Reflections

The Authority of God

“Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”) And immediately the man’s ears were opened. Mark 7:34-35

How often do you hear Jesus say this to you? “Ephphatha! Be opened!” Or how often do you hear Him speak to you with such authority?

Did Jesus say this only because this man was physically deaf and He wanted to physically cure him? Or is there a deeper significance? By healing this man unable to hear physical sounds, Jesus was revealing something to us about what He wants to do for us. Jesus is giving us a clear and deeper message in this healing. Certainly there are many messages we can take from this passage. Let’s look at one.

The message is in Jesus’ command: “Be opened!” These are powerful words commanding action. They are not optional words. They are clear and definitive. “Be opened” is not a question, not an invitation, it is a command. This is significant!

These two little words reveal the fact that Jesus has made up His mind to act. They reveal that He is not hesitant in the least in this choice. He has made up His mind and has spoken His will. And this action, on His part, is what makes a difference. These two little words reveal that God is not indecisive when He speaks. He is not shy or uncertain. He is absolute and clear.

This understanding should give us great comfort. Comfort in the sense that Jesus is ready and willing to exercise His all-powerful authority. He does have all-power and He is not afraid to exercise this authority when He wants to. Most importantly, He wants to exercise His authority when it will bring about the greatest good in our lives.

It should give us great comfort in the sense that we can trust that this all-powerful God is all-powerful and is in control. If He is even in control of the natural world (physical hearing), then He is most certainly in control of the spiritual world, too. He is able to do all things good.

When we find that we are in the presence of one who is not only all-powerful, but also all-loving and all-merciful, we should be able to breathe a huge sigh of relief and turn our absolute trust over to Him. He is able and fully willing to be in control.

Reflect, today, upon these two little words. Let this holy and divine authority of Jesus take control over your life. Let Him command you. His commands are perfect love and mercy. They are words that will direct you to your ultimate good. And this all-powerful God is worthy of all your trust.

Lord, I do trust You and I know that You can do all things. I know that You desire to have perfect authority in my life. Help me to turn my life fully over to You and to trust You enough to direct and to command every action of my life. Jesus, I fully trust in You!

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