Sunday, 27 July 2008

Propers for the 11th Sunday after Pentecost

Today's Gospel deals with part of the fulfillment of one of my favourite prophecies of Isaiah: 'Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstoppered..."

OK, so I particularly like it for its setting by Handel as a recitative in the Messiah, but it points nicely to the overall theme for this Sunday of our tendency to refuse to see, hear, believe, and above all, co-operate with grace!

The Gospel is actually St Mark's story of the healing of the deaf mute, and foreshadows the baptismal ceremony, with the use of the word 'ephpheta' (let it be opened). The epistle, from 1 Corinthians, takes up this theme by pointing to the witness of those who saw the Lord after the Resurrection, and urges us to hold true to the truths of the faith that we have heard preached.

Dom Gueranger actually points out that the Gospel for this Sunday was originally the parable of the unforgiving debtor, and some of the Propers really relate more to that text than the current Gospel! Nonetheless, the link between mind and body is brought out nicely in the post communion, while the Offertory talks about being healed, and thus free to praise the Lord.

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