What hinders you from hearing the word of God? What makes it impossible for you to proclaim the gospel of Christ in the world today? These are very important and pertinent questions to ask ourselves especially after hearing today’s gospel reading from the gospel of Saint Mark 7:31-37. Jesus heals the deaf man who had a speech impediment and ordered all who witnessed it not to tell anyone. But they could not keep such great miracle to themselves because they were exceedingly astonished that they proclaimed it to all they encountered saying, "He (Jesus) has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak." So once again, what inhibits you from hearing the word of God? And what stops you from proclaiming Christ in our world today?

Each of us here will definitely have different reasons, but how strong are these reasons when compared to the goal of attaining the kingdom of God? The deaf man with a speech impediment who was healed in the gospel reading without hesitation started immediately to proclaim Christ to the world by telling people how Jesus’s healed him. Even Prophet Isaiah in today’s first reading reveals to the Israelites whose hearts were frightened God’s message to them saying, “be strong and fear not! Here is your God, He comes with vindication; With divine recompense He comes to save you.” So with all these words of encouragement and all the blessings, graces and mercies we have received from God, why are we still not strong and courageous to preach the word of God to the world and what still impedes or stops us from telling people about God and all He has done and continues to do in our lives? Last week we pointed out and discussed three things that hinder us from being doers of the word of God, they are - Fear, Laziness and Lack of love. But today we will talk about two new reasons that hinder us from proclaiming and hearing the word of God. They are - Indifference in faith and lack of dedication or commitment to God.

Indifference means lack of interest, concern, or sympathy, hence, indifference in faith means having no interest in God and our faith in Him or even having any concern for Him, who made us, redeemed us and strengthens us. How can you call yourself a child of God when you lack interest in Him? If we have interest in God, then He will be the center of our lives and we will be willing and ready to hear His word and proclaim it in our world today.

Lack of dedication or commitment to God. Dedication is a feeling of very strong support for or loyalty to someone or something. Commitment is an agreement or pledge to do something in the future. Hence, as Catholic Christians, do we have a strong support for or loyalty to God our Maker, Savior and Redeemer? Have we agreed and pledged to be His true disciples by hearing and accepting His word and putting it into practice?

My dear brothers and sisters, it is time to be exceedingly astonished and appreciative of God like the deaf man with the speech impediment whom Jesus healed in today’s gospel reading. Let us then go into the world today and fearlessly proclaim Christ to all we encounter. Amen!