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Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Mk. 7:31-37

Do we ever thank God for our five senses? Each can give us much enjoyment and pleasure – and He gave the five of them to us.

We have the sense of sight. How many hours of enjoyment does reading good books bring us, or viewing our favourite television programmes, gazing at a beautiful sunrise or sunset, the beauty of a young child’s happy smile … to mention only a few? How awful it must be to have little or no sight!

What of our hearing? We have the pleasure of sharing in good conversations and listening to good music; the ability to make known our basic wants and our deepest feelings.

Then there is the sense of taste. I thank God many times a day for a good tasty meal!

And we have the sense of touch. I am certainly grateful to God for all I can do because of it. I would be lost if I could not tap my fingers on the keyboard of a computer or not hold a crochet needle or be unable to pluck guitar strings.

Lastly, we have the sense of smell. How wonderful it is to enjoy the fragrance of a sweet smelling flower – although we all abhor nasty smells!

Now of all our senses which one do we appreciate most? For me it would have to be the sense of sight but I live with a 96 year old friar who has very poor hearing. He tells me for him the sense of hearing is the most precious one..

We all have great sympathy for the man in today's Gospel who was both deaf and dumb. He lived in a very lonely world.

However, there are many of us who are like this deaf and dumb man, when we refuse to listen to what God has to say to us and fail to speak the
truth we are like that deaf and dumb man. We all need the healing hand of Jesus to make us hear God’s words and do as He wants of us. Jesus is the one who removes our deafness and dumbness so that we can use these senses to the best of our ability.

We can be like this man, too, if we fail to give a listening ear to the lonely, the disturbed and unloved. How many times have we failed to express cheery words of encouragement to someone who is trying or a word of thanks for a good performance? Have we been guilty of cautious silence when we should have spoken the truth? Have jealousy, pride, envy and hatred sometimes marred our speech and so failed to heal relationships?

Is Jesus saying to us, 'You may think what a great tragedy it is to be born deaf or dumb, but I tell you it is an even greater tragedy to have ears and fail to hear, to have tongues and fail to speak?' Those of us who do not use our ears to hear the word of God and fail to speak up for good are the people to be pitied. We need to be brought to Jesus for His healing touch. He wants to open our ears to hear His words and those of others who want to speak to us, and our mouths to communicate, encourage and thank Him and others for the good they do us.

Heavenly Father, we need to thank You for all our senses, with the same fervour as the deaf and dumb man must have thanked Your Son Jesus, for giving him the senses of speech and hearing.

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