23rd Sunday in ordinary time Year B, 2015, a realhomilie from Fr.Kevin Walsh, Sydney, Australia. The First Reading, Responsorial Psalm and Gospel for the Sunday. Family Prayer around God’s Word, and a Blessing from Iona Abbey in Scotland.

05 Sep

23rd Sunday in ordinary time Year B, 2015, a realhomilie from Fr.Kevin Walsh, Sydney, Australia. The First Reading, Responsorial Psalm and Gospel for the Sunday. Family Prayer around God’s Word, and a Blessing from Iona Abbey in Scotland.


First Reading: Isaiah 35:4-7

Say to all faint hearts,

‘Courage! Do not be afraid.

‘Look, your God is coming,

vengeance is coming,

the retribution of God;

he is coming to save you.’

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,

the ears of the deaf unsealed,

then the lame shall leap like a deer

and the tongues of the dumb sing for joy;

for water gushes in the desert,

streams in the wasteland,

the scorched earth becomes a lake,

the parched land springs of water.

(Let’s PAUSE and reflect upon this reading, and let us ask ourselves the two questions stated above. That is our PERSONAL response to the Word. This might take a few minutes, try not to rush it. The Psalm and Antiphon is the COMMUNITY response to God’s Word, a bit like a short and sweet Text Message)

           Psalm: Ps 145:7-10


  1. Praise the Lord, my soul!

It is the Lord who keeps faith for ever,

who is just to those who are oppressed.

It is he who gives bread to the hungry,

the Lord, who sets prisoners free. R.

It is the Lord who gives sight to the blind,

who raises up those who are bowed down,

the Lord who loves the just,

the Lord, who protects the stranger. R.

The Lord upholds the widow and orphan,

but thwarts the path of the wicked.

The Lord will reign for ever,

Zion’s God, from age to age. R.

Gospel: Mark 7:31-37

Jesus with deaf and dumb man

Returning from the district of Tyre, Jesus went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, right through the Decapolis region. And they brought him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they asked him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, put his fingers into the man’s ears and touched his tongue with spittle. Then looking up to heaven he sighed; and he said to him, ‘Ephphatha,’ that is, ‘Be opened.’ And his ears were opened, and the ligament of his tongue was loosened and he spoke clearly. And Jesus ordered them to tell no one about it, but the more he insisted, the more widely they published it. Their admiration was unbounded. ‘He has done all things well,’ they said ‘he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.’

A realhomilie from Fr Kevin Walsh

Kevin in Church 11885075_10205132408778378_3148389988296886400_n

Dear One and All,

Today we hear a story about Jesus healing a deaf and dumb man. Was this to be a one off story or is it perhaps a never-ending story, which can be lived out today? Let us have a closer look at the words and actions of Jesus.

The story begins with a prayer of intercession. Others brought the man to Jesus. We don’t know who they were, but they obviously believed that Jesus could do something for this man just by laying his hand on him. We must not forget that the action of the ‘laying on of hands’ has a profound Biblical History. It is a sacred action, albeit a Sacramental accomplishment. Let’s have a quick look back into the Old & New Testament at this sacred action. In Psalm 10 verse 12 we hear, ‘Rise, YHWH, God raise your hand* do not forget the poor!’ (Now before I go on, you may be thinking, why didn’t I spell Yahweh properly?

Yahweh th

Out of respect for our Biblical tradition, and that of our Jewish brothers and sisters, we leave the a and e out) In this instance, it would seem that the raising of the hand is a sign of ‘the process of awakening faith, together with being saved or experiencing salvation’ The ‘Poor’ of the Lord were the faithful few who sought life, from listening to the Lord God and living their lives in hope. In the Prophet Ezekiel chapter 1 verse 3 says, ‘there the hand of YHWH (Lord God) came on me.’ In this Theophany, or manifestation of God’s saving authority; we see the ‘power’ of the Lord God exhibited ….not a power in the kilowatt sense, but the pneuma..The all embracing Spirit of the Lord, which has the internal will of God and ‘changes’ people and situations. In Luke 5:13 Jesus in responding to the Leper …’stretched out his hand and touched him…’ Back to the Gospel of today: Bodily intercession for others appears frequently in the Gospels, when the person concerned is unable to get to Jesus, or, in this case, is unable to speak for himself, other people take the prayerful initiative in walking with the man to Jesus. Such prayerful actions are always pleasing to the Lord. Remember the story of the lame man being lowered down through the roof and his stretcher being placed in front of Jesus? Jesus marvelled at their faith, and he healed the man. I must stop again so that we are on the same page in regarding their faith . It would seem that faith in this instance is seeing the saving hand of God at work in Jesus; notice that it was THEIR FAITH! It was a collective intercession! Each week in our Parish Bulletin we have a list of people that we are invited to pray for who are ill or deceased.

World cross 2 th

We also pray for our Pope, and leaders of the Christian community through out the world. We also prayer in loving outreach to people in the world who are suffering as a result of natural disasters or war! Let’s never forget just how important it is to pray for the sick, because often the sick person will feel a special comfort, which is the fruit of our prayers. Sometimes sick people are at a loss as to how to pray! However, it would seem according to St.Theresa, that the desire to pray; is but prayer. For our deceased relatives and friends, our prayer is an act of faith, hope and love.

Jesus healing the deaf and dumb man300px-Bartholomeus_Breenbergh_003

Jesus takes the man aside in private; this is most certainly an act of trust by the deaf and dumb man in Jesus. Trust is the first requirement for healing! It is also the first requirement in any relationship! (Human and Animal) Jesus touches the man’s ears and his tongue, and with a sigh, or a groan, which itself is a prayer from the Spirit within Jesus, enables the miracle to take place. Let’s stop here for a moment; groans, sighs; we all do them, it is really a language or a dialect…let us say an ‘in house’ dialect. The members of our family have a pretty good idea of what our sighs and groans mean….not just a word, but words from our inner depth of being embroiled into an inarticulate groan, having deep and real meanings. Goodness, I seem to be groaning more and more these days, especially when I am on my knees in the Kitchen looking for a special pot or pan….it’s the getting up off the floor that triggers my groans! In the case of Jesus and ourselves, our groans and sighs come from the deep recesses within our guts, and that is where true compassion springs from. Some of our ancestors in faith in my genetic British history, used to bury the entrails of saintly people who were passionate and inspiring, in small cisterns at the base of the Altar. That might sound a bit ‘off’ to use nowadays, but no, in the middle ages our ancestors in faith tried to remind themselves, and imitate the passionate virtues of the Holy person.

St Richard

In this case some of the entrails of the great St.Richard of Chichester were placed in the Cistern for a time. So, if ever you are in Dover, UK, go to the Church or Post Office and say that you want to visit St.Edmund’s Chapel. There are a few families in Dover who have special interest, and look after the Chapel, so you might be given a phone number to make arrangements. It is virtually in the centre of the Town. In that chapel there is the square cavity at the base of the Altar where some of St.Richard’s entrails were buried. They are not there now, because some one in the distant past t took them out….I am not sure as to when, but it could well have been in the 1500’s when so much damage was done to Catholic Sacred Sites.

Be opened th

Now let’s get back to the inarticulate groans….In St.Paul’s letter to the Romans Chapter 8: 26-27, He tells us, ‘ …through our inarticulate groans the Spirit himself is pleading for us’. As part of this inner groan and looking upwards, Jesus says ‘Ephphatha’ which means ‘Be opened now!’ And it happened: The man could hear and speak clearly? What could he hear? The saving and healing Word of God. What could he say? That in Jesus the saving, healing hand of God is at work! Now you might ask, what about the use of spittle? We have to get our minds back to the Biblical understanding of water! This action was expressing something very wonderful……water = new life! But spittle was also seen to be an agent containing healing properties.

Water 2 th

This man was open to receiving the action of the Spirit at the hands of Jesus, and thus also entered into new life. We need to link these actions to the great and poetic dissertation of Isaiah in the first reading…..namely that at the appropriate time in the ‘now and in the future’ that the saving hand of the Lord God will manifest itself through healing, new life and turning the world order upside down. This in short, is the Mission of the Church! The New Heavens and the New Earth in the Book of Revelation!

New heavens and new earth th

There can be levels of deafness in our ability to really hear the Word of God. It is a ‘graced moment’ to really hear God speak to us. Mary had this grace in abundance. She was ‘full of grace’. It is a free gift, but only to those who want it, receive it. Let us ask the Lord today to touch my ears and tongue, and to free me from any blockages of deafness and dumbness.

What about the dumbness? This can so often cause us to be silent when we should speak. At times in can be moral cowardice. Being freed from this dumbness enables us to speak out against injustice, to give a word of praise, or to proclaim the message of Jesus. Speech is a wonderful God given gift. People can be built up by words of encouragement and praise, just as they can be destroyed by words of sarcasm and criticism.

Open my ears Lord help me to hear your voice,

Touch my heart and tongue O Lord, so that I may speak

Your words of love, compassion and forgiveness. Amen

Passionist logo Australia thRXU5IKLT

God Bless you and your families and may we never forget each other in prayer. Fr.Kev.

PS: A Picture of St.Edmund’s Chapel in Dover, UK, and some very interesting information for you.

St. Edmunds chapel_pics_front_right

Near to the Maison Dieu the monks of the Priory of St Martin established a cemetery for the poor with its own small chapel. The chapel, dedicated to St Edmund, was consecrated on 30 March 1253 by Bishop Richard of Chichester. St Richard had always wanted to dedicate a chapel to St Edmund, who had been his friend. The fulfilment of this wish was one of Richard’s last acts as he died four days later in the Maison Dieu. After his death Richard’s body was returned to the chapel to be ‘eviscerated’ (have the internal organs removed) in preparation for the journey to Chichester Cathedral to be buried. The viscera were buried in the chapel altar and both places later became places of pilgrimage. The chapel was dissolved along with the Maison Dieu in 1544. Its history since then is only sketchily known. Immediately after the dissolution, it was probably still associated with the fortunes of the Maison Dieu and became part of a victualling store for the Navy. After that it became a store-house for the shops which came to be built in Biggin Street. In the middle of the nineteenth century it was converted into a two-floor building, and became a dwelling-house and forge. In 1943 artillery shells destroyed the two shops hiding the chapel on the Priory Road side, leaving the chapel itself untouched. Attempts to get it scheduled as an Ancient Monument in 1963 failed and it was scheduled for demolition. In 1965, however, it was privately purchased and restored in 1967-8. At least 75 percent of the building seen today is original.


 world cross 5 th

Leader: Our God touches us and we are saved. Let us pray that we might be open to such mighty deeds.

·        That all members of the Church see in each other the body of Christ and be drawn to proclaim God’s mighty deeds. Lord, hear us. Lord, hear our prayer.

·        That all people of the world have faithful companions who bring them to a Source of healing and strength. Lord, hear us. Lord, hear our prayer.

·        That the physically, mentally, or spiritually challenged be healed in body or spirit. Lord, hear us. Lord, hear our prayer.

·        That all of us here proclaim the presence of our saving Christ by the way we live. Lord, hear us. Lord, hear our prayer.

·        For Fr Aaron Philip in Islamabad, Pakistan, one of our many overseas realhomilie readers from overseas. My parish is very big and it is getting bigger. Even now for Sunday only I have to travel 300 kms. My area is some safe and other parts unsafe. We pray for his scattered community of St.John the Apostle, that the presence of Christ in their midst, consolidates them in love and outreach to each other. Lord, hear us. Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: Lord our God, you work mighty deeds on our behalf and draw us to yourself by your tender care: in your justice and mercy hear these our prayers. We ask this through Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.

 Iona 13 stock-photo-iona-abbey-island-of-iona-with-cattle-scotland-3701068

Blessing is taken from the Iona Abbey Sacramentary, Scotland.

Iona Abbey is located on the Isle of Iona, just off the Isle of Mull on the West Coast of Scotland. It is one of the oldest and most important religious centres in Western Europe. The abbey was a focal point for the spread of Christianity throughout Scotland and marks the foundation of a monastic community by St. Columba, when Iona was part of the Kingdom of Dál Riata.

1.                             The Cross


2.                             The bread……………


3.                             The pain


4.                             The joy………………


5.                             The Gospel……………


6.                             The love…………


7.                             The light……………


8.                             The darkness…………….


Cross dali2_1247555c

Would you like to read some Interesting Essays on Spirituality?

 Gods Word th36RKBOOR

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Posted by on September 5, 2015 in Uncategorized


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2 responses to “23rd Sunday in ordinary time Year B, 2015, a realhomilie from Fr.Kevin Walsh, Sydney, Australia. The First Reading, Responsorial Psalm and Gospel for the Sunday. Family Prayer around God’s Word, and a Blessing from Iona Abbey in Scotland.

  1. Genevieve Walsh

    September 5, 2015 at 11:15 pm


    Genevieve Walsh RSC

    We are Sisters of Charity, Women of Mary Aikenhead, Contemplatives in action, Impelled by the love of Christ.


    • kevinwalsh1974

      September 5, 2015 at 11:23 pm

      Thanks Genny, God’s Word is evergreen


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