Ordinary Time, 23rd Sunday (B) I used to not really believe in faith healing. Then I saw it for myself at a discipleship seminar. I have prayed with people and they have reported immediate relief from symptoms. Sometimes, though, the physical illness would return. I think that Jesus was working a sort of temporary relief in order to get peoples' attention.

Which do you think is harder: To open the ears of the physically deaf or to open the ears of those who are deaf to the cries of the poor and the voice of God? Jesus works a physical healing so that they will be open to a much more profound, and significant, spiritual healing. The "Ephphatha" from today's reading continues to be repeated in the Baptism ritual. That means the Church desires this kind of healing, this kind of openness to God's voice, for every Christian.

Prayer is "a response to the presence and action of God in our lives." We often want God to talk but we aren't willing to step away from the crowd. Oriens 2021 is a great opportunity to "tune in" to the voice of God. A couple weeks ago I invited people to share a Mass Moment with me. Here's one that was shared with me, and I got the author's permission to share it with you.

I'd like to share my Mass moment with you. I've heard our Catholic teaching on the Eucharist my whole life. I've always believed. It's important to say I've noticed an intention of making the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist a focal point in homilies, Catholic talk shows, and Relevant Radio. Since I am nearly retired I try to attend daily Mass. Recently as Father began the prayers of consecration, I came to a reality that this was the very same God that created the earth. The very same God I will soon hold in my own hands and then consume. The very same God will become a part of every cell in my body. Tears began to flow uncontrollably for the duration for Mass. I remained in church after Mass just enjoying the intimate moment I had with God. I also bring this "Mass moment" to mind at each Mass. I'm glad I'm Catholic.

Children should be praying an Our Father in the morning and a Hail Mary before bedtime. Adults and teens should be committed to at least 15 minutes of quality time with God every day. Make yourself a prayer chair, prayer corner, or prayer space in your house. I would venture to guess that every Catholic has probably had some kind of mini miracle experience. When did you experience a healing, an answer to prayer, a #MassMoment. Meditate on how God has spoken you and your ears will become more "tuned in" to his voice.

(5 Sep 2021)

Going Deeper: Check out the videos on Encounter School of Ministry's website.

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