Isaiah 35:4-7

4 Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.”
5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; 6 then shall the lame man leap like a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;
7 the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

James 2:1-5

1 My brethren, show no partiality as you hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.
2 For if a man with gold rings and in fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in,
3 and you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “Have a seat here, please,” while you say to the poor man, “Stand there,” or, “Sit at my feet,”
4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?
5 Listen, my beloved brethren. Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to those who love him?

Mark 7:31-37

31 Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, through the region of the Decapolis.
32 And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech; and they besought him to lay his hand upon him.
33 And taking him aside from the multitude privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue;
34 and looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” 35 And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. 36 And he charged them to tell no one; but the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it.
37 And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well; he even makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.”  


THE PROPHET ISAIAH implore the people of Israel to be strong and fearless, because God will fulfill His promise to avenge the people and save them. Isaiahs imagery points to an eschatological age where all the ills and afflictions of man will cease to exist to inaugurate a return to happiness, joy and holiness in the garden of Eden.

St JAMES ADDRESS our flawed human instinct of appreciating and acknowledging that which is pleasing to our human senses in so far as it may benefit us! Conversely we have a kind of hostile animus towards that which is off-putting and not to our liking! Philosophers refer to this kind of reasoning and or adjudication as a ‘naturalistic fallacy.’ 

James takes a look at our disdain for the: poor, shabby, unsightly, uneducated in favor of the rich, well-to-do, professional class as a form of  judgement! To be sure, this kind of living and mental application does not comport with the teachings of Christ Jesus.

St MARK Present us with our Lords response to a group of compassionate individuals who presented a ‘person of interest’ whose speech and hearing faculties were impaired. Unlike other circumstances our Lord employ a seemingly peculiar  approach on this occasion! Jesus respects the dignity of this man and seperate him from the crowd so as to attend to him privately just as a physician would do. Contrary to our ‘sanitized’ sense and sensibilities, our Lord put His finger in the mans ear and used His spittle combined with prayer to effect a miraculous healing!

The prevailing epidemic has certainly highlighted our spiritual blindness and absolute fear of living and dying. In today’s context, what Jesus has done to the afflicted man and the leper (Mt 8:3) would be regarded as criminal! Whilst we must surely be prudent and apply wisdom, let us not allow the evil one to inoculate us with fear and rob us from being compassionate, loving and caring to the afflicted and marginalized. This is indeed a time to be strong and fearless, because we serve a God of mercy!

LET US PRAY:Psalms 146:7-10

7 who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free; 8 the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous.
9 The LORD watches over the sojourners, he upholds the widow and the fatherless; but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin. 10 The LORD will reign for ever, thy God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD!

Author. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days. 

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