Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 9, 2018
In the musical, Man of LaMancha, Don Quixote sings about his quest for “the impossible dream.” Hello, I’m Franciscan Father Greg Friedman, with the Sunday Soundbite for the Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time.
That song became a hit–in part I believe–because all of us have some kind of dream, some vision of a hope-filled future that keeps us going. Christians believe that Jesus Christ fulfills humanity’s dreams of a world at peace, in harmony, with all of our human imperfections made whole.
Today’s first reading is an Old Testament prophecy of such a dream coming true. Isaiah has a vision of a time when those who cannot hear or cannot see will be given hearing and sight; and when the lifeless deserts will become fertile.
Mark, the author of today’s Gospel, believed that Jesus would fulfill that Isaian vision. He incorporated some of Isaiah’s visionary language into his account of Jesus giving the powers of hearing and speech to a man. That scene is portrayed in great detail by Mark, with Jesus using gestures, groans, and even spitting as he carries out this power-filled sign.
For me, the scene captures both Jesus’ humanity and divinity. And it communicates what Mark and his community of faith are witnessing to in this Gospel: That Jesus is the one who will fulfill all our dreams for healing, wholeness, and peace. What are you hoping for this week?