A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Getting dirty

Many people have a similar reaction when they hear the account of our Lord healing the speech-impaired deaf man in today's Gospel (Mark 7:31-37):


He put his finger into the man's ears
and, spitting, touched his tongue...

Many times, our Lord healed people with just a word or the touch of his garment. In this case, he used symbolic actions that were particularly meaningful for the person at hand - even though these actions might make us uncomfortable.

A similar discomfort may be involved in today's second reading (James 2:1-5) which describes a congregation's disrespectful treatment of a poor man in shabby clothes.

(Sad to say, this happens far too often today: the smelly street person who wanders into church is quickly ushered away from the rest of the congregation - or brusquely expelled.)

St. James is himself brusque in response (especially in the verse following this reading).

Listen, my beloved brothers.

Did not God choose
those who are poor in the world
to be rich in faith
and heirs of the kingdom
that he promised to those who love him?

But you dishonored the poor person.

Being a true follower of Christ often means being uncomfortable: getting our hands dirty, reaching out to the aesthetically repugnant, and going outside of our personal comfort zones in order to be faithful to the love and truth of our glorious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.