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Homily by Fr. Paul Plante

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Year B

September 10, 2000

Scriptural Reference: Mark 7:31-37

     In the process of curing the man who was deaf and mute in today’s Gospel story, it is said that Jesus “took the man by himself away from the crowd.”

     Do you have experiences of being taken aside in order to deal with something that could be humiliating in front of other people, being taken aside for a few minutes of personal advice – a wise counsel, perhaps even a necessary reprimand or correction?

     When this is done by the right person in the right way at the right time, we could be saved from more hurt or damage. I would say that only people who have conquered their own impatience and anger can successfully do this kind of correcting. It is a great gift to have someone who loves us enough to gently tell us truths that we have a hard time accepting about ourselves.

     But this is not the whole point of my selecting this verse for reflection. As we see Jesus taking the mas aside by himself, away from the crowd to heal him, how do we let Jesus take us aside to heal us? Do we give Jesus a chance to take us out of the crowd and speak to us – heal us individually?

     How do we take time to pay attention to Jesus to find out what he has to tell us personally? Isn’t that what it means to listen attentively to God’s Word? Isn’t that what it means to go into the depths of our hearts in prayer?

     Do we ever get away from the crowd to be alone with Jesus? Do we ever seek a time and a place to be perfectly quiet with Jesus and there to let him speak to our hearts?

     This kind of silence is so important to me; I can only highly recommend it to you – especially if you live with a lot of sound and noise. At least, occasionally turn everything off and believe that God’s language is often best understood in silence.

     We live in a busy, noisy world – images and sound all over the place.

     If we want to be healed by Jesus – at times we have to let him take us aside out of the crowd – out of the noise in order to listen.

     Much peace awaits you in silence.

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