Fr Frank writes:
My dear friends,
The healing of the deaf and dumb man, which we hear of in today’s Gospel (Mark 7:31-37), occurs immediately and the confirmation of the healing is shown in the man’s ability to speak. Jesus orders the crowd not to divulge the news but is disobeyed and his reputation keeps spreading. The comment of the crowd (‘He has done all things well, he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.’) indicates that they are becoming aware that with Jesus the messianic age has dawned, since according to our first reading (Isaiah, 35:5f), healings of the blind, deaf and those with disabilities are signs of its beginning.
The ability to hear and speak are great gifts from God. We can use these gifts for good or bad. The choice is ours, God’s gift of free will imposes responsibility!
Today’s Psalm (145:7-10) links together this theme (‘It is the Lord who gives sight to the blind, who raises up those who are bowed down’) with the plight of those in Afghanistan (‘It is the Lord who keeps faith for ever, who is just to those who are oppressed’). Please continue to pray for the vulnerable people of Afghanistan, and pray too that God will turn the hearts of those who would do them harm. To pray for persecutors is a act of love – we want for them what God wants for all his people…..to experience His love and to live that life of love. Hatred and oppression have no part in God’s purpose for the world.
May the words and actions of Christ prompt us all to words and deeds of kindness.
You must have seen the dual- purpose notice boards, with a section for a ‘wayside pulpit’ text, and another section for service details etc.
Sometimes they make interesting reading.
THE LORD BISHOP WILL BE HERE NEXT SUNDAY AT 6.30pm.
On the other side were the words:
DON’T WORRY, IT MAY NEVER HAPPEN.