By Fr. Tony Fortman, C.PP.S.

Today Jesus heals a deaf man with a speech impediment. This man Jesus heals is not deserving of the healing but Jesus heals him anyways. None of us deserves the love and healing Christ extends to us but God loves us immensely. Jesus is always trying to pull us closer to him. Christ does not rejoice in our pain and infirmities. He wants all people to enjoy physical health. Jesus wants to lift us up.

Twelve years ago, after she had lost hearing in both of her ears, my mom got cochlear implants. A cochlear implant is like a computer put behind your ears, which translates speech into English. Mom said that when people talked it sounded like they had an Irish brogue.

It was six months from the time that mom lost her hearing until the cochlear surgery. During that time, my family was praying that mom’s hearing would return. It did not return. In the meantime, we had to write down our speech for mom or she could read our lips. Finally, mom got a doctor’s appointment at the Cleveland Clinic. Within weeks mom had her operation and received her cochlear implants. Mom could hear again after her operation. Our family was overjoyed.

There is power in prayer. I wanted a healing for mom with no doctors involved, but God had other plans. God can use medicine and people to heal. God can use whoever he wants and whatever he wants to produce a healing. I can’t remember but that hearing doctor could have been a Muslim or Hindu. Christ uses all people and their talents for healing. We must open our minds and hearts to that fact.

In today’s second reading we hear from the letter of James, “Did not God choose those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who love him?” Jesus is on the lookout for those who are downcast physically and spiritually. Let us be on the lookout for the downcast and forgotten in our world. As a Precious Blood family we are bound by a promise to look out for the people on the edge or on the margins. Let us give words of encouragement. Let us pray for those who have no one to pray for them. Let us love those whom the world despises. God bless you all.

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Fr. Tony Fortman, C.PP.S., is the pastor of St. John the Baptist Church in Glandorf, Ohio.

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