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Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost

The Disease of the Deaf and the Dumb.

Biologically every normal person has been given two ears and one mouth. This fact of life beckons us to reflect that it is more important in the life of faith to listen more than to speak. If one cannot hear how can he learn. If one is closed to the truth then how should he speak? From the very beginning of our lives parents and relatives wanted to hear us speak and they repeated words like: “Daddy or Mommy” ad infinitum. One day the little babe utters his first word after listening to its repetition. Now the priority of listening first is established by the nature that is rational. This
reality now applies to our life of faith.

Faith is no longer the topic of discussion and learning but of strife and condemnation. Relativity in faith visions dominates the social scene without anyone listening first to the instructions of God. We are the deaf and the dumb. We just won’t listen to the Holy Ghost but rather to the latest in the scientific world which is producing theory after theory to contradict the word of God. If we do not know the word of God how can we expect to speak well of the divinity when we lack the knowledge that comes from listening to His word daily. St. Thomas Aquinas said that one does not understand something which one cannot express. We need to form clear and distinct ideas which develop the convictions of faith and open the tongue to the praise of God.

The first word that we must return to is simply the word “religion”, which causes many to think that there are a multitude of religions. In reality the definition corrects that view. St. Augustine breaks the word into its two parts “re-liga” which he translates as “rebond”. In other words the act of religion is an action that belongs to God. Prior to man’s sin we were bonded to our God but after sin the break in the bond becomes evident by the loss of immortality, infused knowledge and impassibility. Man who sinned can never restore the bond it would have to an act of God and it must exhibit this fact: 1) God must do it; 2) it must involve the shedding of blood (Heb. 9,22) and it will be a vicarious act which looks down the centuries to its fulfillment. Turn then to Genesis 3:21 and you find the act of religion: God clothed the man and the woman in the skin of the lamb.

God did it, it involves the shedding of blood and it is a finger of the Holy Ghost pointing to a moment in time in which the true lamb of God offers His Blood for the redemption of our souls. Religion is the act of God rebonding us to Himself through the blood of the lamb of God. The act of religion is only one: the sacrifice of the lamb. There can be only one religion and that is the one which preserves the sacrifice of Christ and encourages others to praise God for the means of our salvation. If a soul understands what was just read, then go out and correct the false notions that say there a many religions. No, there is one act of religion, one act of rebonding and there is no other. All the rest are men constructing a pseudo-path to heaven.

If you have ears to hear then listen and learn. If you develop the convictions of your faith then speak of these to all who are not deaf and dumb. Now each of us must examine our consciences concerning our speech. What do we speak of: 1) small minds speak of people; 2) mediocre minds speak of things and events while the 3) great minds speak of ideals. Let us evaluate our ears and our tongue in order to know where our soul is headed. St. Paul teaches us to “say only the good things that men need to hear, that which will really heal them.”

In the hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

Fr. Richard Voigt

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