23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time: We Must Go Deeper Than We See

In today’s Gospel, Jesus gives a miracle healing to a deaf man with a speech impediment.  But then he tells this man and all who are there “not to go talking about this.”  This has always perplexed me; why when Jesus acts in such a way does He not want it to be known what He has done?  I truly believe that the reason for this, is our Lord wants us to find the deeper message before we share the Good News.  Miracles are an important expression of our faith, but they are only one expression, they are only one (and not the most important) way our Lord acts in the world, and in our own lives.  Jesus is so often moved with compassion that He acts to help the one He heals, but then through this goodwill act, it is surely His hope as it ought to be ours; that the one having been healed will see the deeper meaning, go deeper in their own commitment of faith and will foster and develop a deeper relationship with Jesus in the process.  Pre-existing this, a miracle doesn’t on it’s own bring a person into a deeper relationship with God.

In our presence, the Miracle of Miracles takes place day after day, week after week as ordinary bread and ordinary wine become the Body and Blood of our Lord Himself; truly, really, physically it is Jesus and yet there are in our midst many who do not believe.  How many believed so whole-heartedly in the miracles of Jesus and professed He was the Son of God and stood by Him at the foot of the Cross?

So what to do?  My friends, we are called to go deeper.  We are called to see to what the Lord does for the man in today’s Gospel.  He opens his heart, mind and soul and hopes that this man through his healing will respond generously to the invitation of a deeper commitment to his faith and relationship with Jesus; that he will follow Him because he has healed his life.  Time will tell, but without time Jesus knows that for this man as for us, we need time to pause and reflect upon these things, in time and with time we will come to see the depth of relationship God is calling each of us to.

To end this with a thought on vocations, I can see why there is a time and a place for men and women to share with those around them a sense of what God is calling them to do with their lives; especially for those who have felt a profound and powerful encounter with Jesus.  It takes time to build and grow a relationship with Jesus, to return to Him in prayer and gratitude, and when the time is right with reflection and meditation; then and only then are we ready to profess the miracles the Lord has performed in our lives; the miracles of faith that have led to the discovery of our own vocation.

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