"Jesus... went by way of Sidon... into the district of the Decapolis." For most of Jesus' ministry, he remains in Galilee and areas with a predominantly Jewish population. Today, however, we see Jesus traveling through a heavily pagan area. This makes the utterance of faith in today's Gospel all the more astounding. "He has done all things well."
In this story, a deaf man is brought to Jesus. This man is not without community! Despite communication difficulties due to a speech impediment, his people bring him before Jesus. Jesus lays hands upon the man and commands his broken body to change. "Ephphatha!" - that is, "Be opened!" Immediately the man's ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly." The community is stunned. They can't stop telling the story. The more Jesus asks them to settle down, the more they proclaim! The Jewish people expected a Messiah but a Messiah with very particular qualifications. The greeks and pagans anticipated no such savior. There were no expectations to meet. They had a special capacity to be completely, utterly surprised.
As Catholics, it can be easy to become accustomed to the songs and prayers, to the routine of religious education drop-offs and Sunday Mass attendance. By now, we may have very particular expectations. When was the last time you allowed yourself to be surprised by God? Sometimes we are all like the deaf man in today's Gospel. God wants to speak to us, but we can't hear clearly. In your prayer this week, go before God honestly. Give yourself permission to drop your expectations and assumptions. Ask Him to renew your faith to show you how, in your life, "He has done all things well."
In observance to the Labor Day holiday, parish offices will be closed this Monday, September 6. We will not have morning Mass. Extended office hours will resume on Tuesday September 7th. If you need to come to the parish office during the week, we are open Monday through Friday from 9:00a.m. until 4:00p.m.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is held in the Church each Tuesday from 9:30a.m. until 7:00p.m. beginning on September 14th. Look for the sign-up sheet in the Narthex after Labor Day or you can just stop by whenever you are free. This is a great way to spend some quiet time in prayer and meditation before our Lord. You can present Him with your needs, reflect on His Word, or simply be in His presence.
I am grateful for a parishioner who funded new steps on the parking lot. Workers replaced the wooden steps with concrete ones. You can see pictures of them on the Parish Facebook page.
Finally, at this writing, I am away for the conclusion of my summer vacation. I leave the parish operations in the hands of our great Parish Staff! I'll see you over the weekend of September 11/12. In lieu of Morning Mass, we will be offering in-person Communion Services at 9:00a.m. Unfortunately these services will not be live-streamed. May I recommend watching Mass at Catholictv.com?
Have a safe and happy holiday weekend!
Don't forget to use hand sanitizers in the Narthex and when you enter the Church at the Food Pantry entrance.
As usual, we will continue to live-stream Mass (Mon-Thurs at 9:00a.m. and Sunday at 9:30a.m.) on the parish Facebook (link) and uploaded on YouTube (link) and our parish website. If you do not have Facebook but wish to watch our livestream, click here for instructions.