It's time to sit down with the scriptures for this weekend (23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time) and prepare to hear the Word the Lord will speak to us.

For the texts of the readings and helpful background material on them, look here.  (Follow that link and you'll find the meaning of EPHPHATHA!)  For those who will be shepherding youngsters to Mass this weekend, take a look here to help children prepare to hear the Word.

Sunday's first lesson is from the prophet Isaiah and it's message would be very much at home in Advent. This is a message of strength and hope - complete with images of the healing the Lord's advent (arrival) will bring.

The gospel passage is a story of healing. Jesus heals a deaf man who also has a speech impediment.
(You'll immediately understand why the Isaiah text was paired with this passage from Mark!

The epistle offering is from James and comes right to the point about the ways we discriminate and tend to give more attention to the rich and the beautiful, leaving those in need to fend for themselves.

Much to ponder in these scriptures and our experience of them at Mass will be all the richer if we've spent some time pondering and praying over these words ahead of time...

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