I have chosen three passages from this Sunday’s readings to show how we take up where we left off last Sunday.
Do you remember last Sunday’s Gospel? In its conclusion the crowd was saying: “He has done all things well. He has made the deaf hear and the dumb speak“.
Today we read in the first reading from Isaiah: “The Lord has opened my ear.” In the Gospel Jesus says: ” ‘But you, who do you say I am?‘ ” and Peter responds “You are the Christ”.
Without an open ear there is no way Peter would know what to say to the Lord. The “open ear” is in reference to our openness to receive not only Christ’s words but to be receptive to the experience the Lord is providing us. He is present in our midst. Peter was learning not only from listening to words but through the experience of livingwith Jesus and observing him act every day. The “open ear” speaks to the ability to allow these realities to impact us in the way God intends them to. A good question might be: ‘What have we heard and seen from the Lord lately?’
We could also point out something else. The meaning of the Lord’s question to Peter is not only to be found in his hope to hear a right answer, let’s say. Not at all,
but the very fact that Jesus would ask this question is very meaningful. He wants Peter to speak! He wants us all to speak! He so desires that you discover that you were meant to speak and to confess the Word of God! It is truly your dignity to do so and Jesus will not rest until you do! The Word wants to be spoken through you! In the Tradition of the Church we speak of Martyrs, but also of Confessors of the Faith. To stand and confess Jesus Christ is without a doubt the very meaning of our lives! Can you think of all the ways, in your day to day life, the Lord expects you to confess who Jesus is?
That brings us to the third passage of today’s liturgy, taken from the second reading: “Take the case, my brothers, of someone who has never done a single good act but claims that he has faith. Will that faith save him?” The question here is not about “doing charity” to others. It’s about the consistency of your claim!
‘Do you claim to have Faith? Show me, then’… says St James. Charity is at the very “heart” of Faith! Without the heart you are dead… There is a lot here for us to think about!
God calls you, you listen. He asks you, you speak. In love, you act. In other words, how could there be a vocation without a mission?
Fr Sean Mary