5 September, Sunday — The Truly Important

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Isa 35:4-7
Jas 2:1-5
Mk 7:31-37                                                                                                  

“… your God is coming, vengeance is coming…”

I have recently been watching a particular channel on Youtube, which features ‘morality’ stories. Essentially, the basic premise of the videos is this — the initial part showcases some prejudice or some erroneous viewpoint. As the story unfolds, all is typically not what it seems, and the truth is finally revealed at the end.

In today’s first reading, the prophet Isaiah prophesizes that when God comes, He would reverse physical afflictions; that the blind shall see, and that the lame would walk, while the dumb would be able to speak.

In the Gospel, we see that our Lord Jesus came as a fulfillment of this prophecy; He healed the deaf and dumb man, resulting in the man being able to speak.

I must confess to struggling with these two readings. In reflecting, I remembered reading that in biblical times, people believed that only serious sinners would be punished with such serious afflictions. As such, these people were often treated poorly by others, and people avoided them in order not to be associated with such sinners.

Yet, our Lord demonstrates His ability to heal, and to forgive, in one fell swoop. He is able to conquer what was previously considered to be unconquerable, and in essence, our Lord has clearly shown His power to go against the natural order of things.

I found the link in the second reading of today. The prophet James exhorts the people NOT to treat people differently on the basis of their wealth. While unspoken, I believe this also relates to people segregated on the basis of other discernible differences as well, including beliefs, physical attributes, health… 

As someone in a state of sin, I find myself doing so, whether consciously or unconsciously. I am often inclined to treat well those who speak better, dress better, or look better. When I see someone living in a bigger home, or driving a bigger car, my unconscious inclination and belief is that these people are ‘better’ and, as such, worthy of more respect and better treatment.

It is clearly not the case. As brothers and sisters under one God, we are equal. If anything, all the differences in health, wealth and other personal attributes only exist during our short time on Earth, and we are often blinded to these unimportant and superficial attributes.

Let us always remember that our Lord has the power to change everything. And that everything we deem to be important on Earth, ultimately, is really unimportant in the light of eternity.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Paul Wee)

Prayer: We pray for the wisdom to understand all that is really important and that we are all equal in the eyes of the Lord.

Thanksgiving: Thank You Father for loving us, and for teaching us the right way to live.

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