Saint Mark 7: 31-37

12th Sunday after Trinity: 3 September Anno Domini 2017

Father Jay Watson SSP

In The Name + of Jesus

Adam was not just deaf. The first man was not just dead. Your most ancient Father was not. He did not even exist. Adam’s fault wasn’t that he wasn’t paying attention to God or listening intently to the “will” and commands of God. Adam was lifeless dirt.

The Word came to the ground.  The 2nd Person of The Blessed Trinity (“all things were made by Him, and without Him was not any thing that was made was made” Jn. 1.3) bled into the ground with the Spirit…the wind of God into the scooped-up, formed and molded shape (the shape of He Who would one day be born of a Virgin) and breathed The Word into that first man’s nostrils. Ear holes on the front of the face or the side of the head…matters not. The Word opens non-life and creates life. The Word unplugs blocked ear canals, cuts the devil’s cords, his bars of the deaf tongue, and creates praise and worship for the new creature…the life from the adamah (the earth) becomes Adam, the first man.

It is always the same. Adam’s descendants, though alive by way of motion and biological functions, are nonetheless spiritually dead.  All those apart from The Lord, apart from The Word, are dirt.  Remaining that way, they will eventually die, maybe sooner rather than later, and return to dirt. 

“O Lord, open Thou my lips” cries the Psalmist. You echo the same plaintiff plea in the opening versicle at Matins and Vespers. The response is the natural reaction to receipt of God’s Good News: “and my mouth shall show forth Thy praise.”  When Christ opens your ears and looses your tongues, then YOU WILL praise Him and sing Him because to receive Him, to receive the Word is to “be opened.” The word forgives and looses the cords of sin, death, and Satan. Your jail cell of solitary confinement; your deprivation tank, full body cast, duct-taped mouth, and wax occluded ears are all opened wide by He who walked the narrow way of obedience and sacrifice for you. Christ The Lord in your ears.

But make no mistake. It is not your words that do anything save reflect His Mercy—His works “for you.” This is no duet. There is no message, observation, or pompous commentary that God needs or requires from you to put a shine or gleam on his product.  He is righteousness. He is perfection. You, as you, are sinful and unclean…soiled to the point of death and decay.

The only dialogue that The Lord desires from you is to receive His Word, His Self in the way He chooses to bestow Himself, and then to repent of your trespasses and to sing His Love.  By singing Christ’s Person and Work you will be both praising Him and sharing Him to all your neighbors in solid, confessional, testimony—i.e. The Gospel of Christ Crucified.

Yes, in the Old Testament period of Patriarchs, Prophets, Psalmists, and Kings great miracles were done by God. The Lord cured leprosy and diseased feet; He added years to the life-span, and even raised the dead.  But the true signs which Jesus did were more and greater, GRANDER, than giving clean skin and a few extra years of longevity. Jesus gave sight, and hearing, and speaking to His adopted siblings. To hear the voice of God by the tongue and fingers of Christ. To see God in the flesh—Incarnated. To speak back to God the very words which God first speaks and places into you.

Jesus, departing from the coasts…He comes…through the midst of the coasts of this Metropolis. You were brought deaf and dumb to Him at the 8-sided font. He has placed His hand upon you. With His fingers, He has had you washed in + Regeneration. With His fingers, He has absolved your forehead and heart with forgiveness and reconciliation. With His fingers, He has placed His Word of Peace into your ears from this very pulpit. With His fingers, he has loosed the string of your tongues as He is placed on your tongues in His true Body and true Blood. 

Be opened to receive The Word.  Christ The Lord in your ears

In the Name of the Father and + of the Son and of The Holy Ghost



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