Isaiah told of a future time when a liberated people would see the wonderful works of God. ”the eyes of the blind shall be open, the ears of the deaf unstopped, the lame shall leap like a deer and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.” Throughout his ministry Jesus could say, “this day these very words are fulfilled in your sight.”
We know Jesus healed many people. But this was not the main goal of his life. People were attracted by his works of wonder, they said, “never have we seen anything like this.” Jesus sensed he was in danger of becoming a famous wonder-worker. Men and women were coming after him from all sides convinced their lives would be changed if they could get back to good health, if they were free of the aches and pains and the limitations of their illnesses.
But this not what Jesus was about. He knew people’s lives would be turned around, people’s lives would find meaning and fulfillment when they opened their hearts and lives to the reality of God’s love for them. Their lives would have meaning when they came to know how important, how precious they were to God. When they heard in the depths of their hearts those beautiful words, “I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have called you and you are mine, of if in their hearts they heard those life giving words,’ your sins are forgiven you, go in peace.”
A deaf man may hear, a dumb man may speak, a blind man may see, a lame person may leap and these things are wonderful. But as Jesus told us, “blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it by living God’s word day by day in the ordinary living of their ordinary lives.”
A person may be restored to his or her hearing and have their tongue loosed to speak, but if they are so caught up in the wonders of their own good fortune they fail to hear the cries of the poor in their own homes or community, if they remain deaf to the calls for justice and fairness that are all around them, if their loosed tongue do not speak for those who have no voice and raise a call for fair wages, fair housing, opportunity for work possibilities for all men and women, something is wrong. They have squandered their gift.
There are two things in life we cannot keep to ourselves, good news and bad news. Imagine you got called into the boss’s office and were told you are in line for a fantastic promotion but it couldn’t be announced just yet. At the end of the day you go home to your wife and she asks the usual question, “anything interesting happen today?” You are bursting to tell her your good news. You have to tell.
On the other hand supposing something traumatic happened in your life? You have a secret that burdens your soul, robs you of peace. One day you find a person, a friend you know you can trust and you take a chance and you tell your secret and your secret is heard and kept and a great burden is taken off your shoulders and you feel like you are breathing freely for the first time in years because you told your bad news.
Every Sunday we hear the Gospel, the good news of God’s love for us. This is the wonder, not that we love God but that God first loved us and sent his son to be our savior. Every Sunday we celebrate the Eucharist which reminds us that God so loved the world he sent his son into the world and the son so loved us he gave his life for us.
Continuing the Mass we pray for ourselves and for each other that Jesus takes each of us aside and touches our ears so that we may hear God’s word correctly and that he releases our tongues so that we may speak God’s word correctly in the lives we live the work we do, the prayers we pray and the service we give.