English Español Mary Immaculate
Catholic Church / Pacoima, CA

See Beyond Outward Appearances

Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

“‘Ephphatha!’ (That is ‘Be opened!’)” Mark 7:34

Christ healing the deaf mute of Decapolis, by Bartholomeus Breenbergh, 1635
Christ healing the deaf mute of Decapolis, by Bartholomeus Breenbergh, 1635

The phrase “Sunday best” has lost much of its meaning in our society today. Some lament the loss of people dressing up for church on Sunday; others think it’s a healthy sign that we’re as casual in attire gathered before the Lord as we are elsewhere. No matter which school of thought on this topic we belong to, James would probably chastise us. In either case, we are still focused on external appearance, mistaking it for some sort of favored position before God. True, James criticizes the community that favors the rich and well-dressed while ostracizing the poorly clothed, but even more he criticizes the making of distinctions, making choices based on criteria that having nothing to do with the reign of God. James might turn our attention to the reign of God described by Isaiah, in which people are healed and the earth becomes ripe to bear fruit. Jesus today is focused on this reign of God, healing a Gentile man in a region hostile to his Jewish faith, not mindful of the man’s origins or clothing or status or ability to repay. Isaiah, James, and Jesus in Mark’s Gospel all call us to look more deeply to find where the will of God needs to be done, and has been done, on earth as in heaven.
Copyright © J. S. Paluch Co., Inc.

Readings for the Week

Monday: 1 Cor 5:1-8; Ps 5:5-7, 12; Lk 6:6-11
Tuesday: 1 Cor 6:1-11; Ps 149:1b-6a, 9b; Lk 6:1219
Wednesday: 1 Cor 7:25-31; Ps 45:11-12, 14-17; Lk 6:20-26
Thursday: 1 Cor 8:1b-7, 11-13; Ps 139:1b-3, 13-14ab, 23-24; Lk 6:27-38
Friday: Nm 21:4b-9; Ps 78:1bc-2, 34-38; Phil 2:6-11; Jn 3:13-17
Saturday: 1 Cor 10:14-22; Ps 116:12-13, 17-18; Jn 19:25-27 or Lk 2:33-35
Sunday: Is 50:5-9a; Ps 116:1-6, 8-9; Jas 2:14-18; Mk 8:27-35

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time; Grandparents Day; Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) 5779 begins at sunset
Tuesday: Patriot Day
Wednesday: The Most Holy Name of Mary
Thursday: St. John Chrysostom
Friday: The Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Saturday: Our Lady of Sorrows

Prayer to Our Lady of Sorrows

Our mother of sorrows, with strength from above you stood by the cross, sharing in the sufferings of Jesus, and with tender care you bore Him in your arms, mourning and weeping.

We praise you for your faith, which accepted the life God planned for you. We praise you for your hope, which trusted that God would do great things in you. We praise you for your love in bearing with Jesus the sorrows of His passion. Holy Mary, may we follow your example, and stand by all your children who need comfort and love. Mother of God, stand by us in our trials and care for us in our many needs. Pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Amen!