Slow down to enjoy life and hear Jesus

Homily for the Twenty-Third Sunday Year B

by Fr. Tommy Lane

Jesus cured the deaf man in the Gospel today (Mark 7:31-37) but, thank God, deafness is not a problem for most of us here. Instead our problem may be that we are too busy to hear Jesus. We are so busy making money that we don’t have time to enjoy the houses we are so busy working to pay for. We are so busy making money that we don’t spend much time at home with our children. Why have children if you are too busy making money to spend time with them? We are so busy that life is slipping by at a very fast rate and we need to slow it down. Where are we all going to end up at the end of life and what is the purpose of life? Life is about getting to know God, loving God and serving God.

Have you ever watched kids
on a merry-go-round
Or listened to the rain
slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?
You’d better slow down
Don’t dance so fast
Time is short
The music won’t last.
Do you run through each day?
When you ask, “How are you?”
Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done
Do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores
Running through your head?
You’d better slow down
Don’t dance so fast
Time is short
The music won’t last.
Ever told your child,
We’ll do it tomorrow
And in your haste, not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die
Because you never had time
To call and say “Hi”?
You’d better slow down
Don’t dance so fast
Time is short
The music won’t last.
When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift....
Thrown away...
Life is not a race.
Do take it slower
Hear the music
Before the song is over.
(by David L. Weatherford)

Jesus healed the deaf man. If we are too busy we can be deaf to the real meaning and joy of life and deaf also to what the Lord is saying to us. Jesus cannot speak to us if we are not silent enough to listen. I would be very surprised if Jesus were able to communicate with you if you were listening to heavy rock music. But if you were silent I would not be surprised if Jesus communicated with you. We all need silence and space for ourselves and also for God. Jesus said, “when you pray go to your private room and shut yourself in.” (Matt 6:6) That private room is making space for Jesus whatever way we do it. I really love the way children make their first confession now, spending time in silence with Jesus before they confess. When we pray, sometimes we say prayers but we also need to pray with our heart, to meditate and contemplate. Jesus said, “in your prayers do not babble as the pagans do” (Matt 6:7). When we pray if we are busy saying prayers we may not hear the Lord speak to us. So as well as saying prayers, we also need to pray with our heart, contemplating and meditating.

Jesus healed the deaf man. Sometimes we can be deaf to life and deaf to Jesus. I like the story about the prophet Elijah in the Old Testament (1 Kings 19). He was in a cave and was told to go out and stand on the mountain before God. There was a hurricane but God was not in the hurricane. There was an earthquake but God was not in the earthquake. There was a fire but God was not in the fire. After the fire there was gentle breeze. He knew God was in the gentle breeze so he went out to the entrance to the cave and covered his face. We also need gentle breezes in our life to hear Jesus speak to us. If we have only hurricanes we will not hear the Lord.

You’d better slow down
Don’t dance so fast
Time is short
The music won’t last.

Jesus took the deaf man aside in private away from the crowd. We can go aside in private with Jesus so that we can hear him speak to us.

Copyright © Fr. Tommy Lane 2013

This homily was delivered when I was engaged in parish ministry in Ireland before joining the faculty of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Maryland.

More homilies for the Twenty-Third Sunday Year B

Eyes open to Jesus and ear unsealed to his Good News

Ephphatha: Christ raises us to a New Level 2012

Jesus is Waiting for You 2015

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