There is a well-known dictum among doctors which says: “GOD heals, the doctor collects the fee.” This Sunday’s gospel relates about Christ’s healing a deaf-mute, but without collecting fees. And the message: Just as the compassionate Jesus cured the deaf-mute, we too must reach out to present day deaf-mutes.

DEAF-MUTES are not only people handicapped in speech and hearing as in the gospel story, but also the social deaf-mutes – those who have no voice or influence in society, those to whom no one listens. Helping them is one wayof thanking God for the great gift of our speech and hearing which, more often than not, we take for granted! Another way of being grateful is to use these faculties as God intended. We abuse our speech faculty by lying, by calumny or slander, that is, when we destroy the good name of others through false statements; by destruction, that is, when we make known, without sufficient serious reason the hidden sins and faults others; and by gossips and intrigues or telling the faults of one in order to put him or her down as in “crab mentality.”

Another grave abuse of the speech faculty which is a form of ugly betrayal or rumor is the divulging of secrets or personal matters told in confidence. An ugly rumor or destructive gossip that is carelessly passed on, can never be recalled. Somebody used the analogy of bringing a bag full of feathers up a tall building and throwing them in the air. Much as you want to recall the strewn feathers, it’s impossible because they’ve been scattered by the wind to the four geographical corners. Similarly, we may regret a contemptible act of gossip mongering, but we can never take it back, and the harm is done.

SPEECH is intended to communicate truth and goodness, not lies and hatred. We should use our gift of speech: to BLESS rather than to curse; to COMPLIMENT rather than to criticize; to HIGHLIGHT THE GOOD QUALITIES rather than to focus on the bad. Our HEARING, too, should be used judiciously. Just as it takes two to tango, it also takes two to have a slanderous conversation. By lending a willing ear to detraction and calumny, we share in their sinfulness. Sometimes, we may “get caught” in such conversations, it is also true that we are not obliged to listen, and are free either to change the topic or walk away. Finally, are we deaf-mute to our own faults and wrongdoing???

#59. A HUMOR ON SELECTIVE HEARING: This is a story about a priest inside the confessional box, hearing the confession of his sacristan. After confiding his sins, the priest thought he forgot some ‘big’ ones so he said, “You forgot to mention that you take some bills from the collection box and drink the Mass wine from the sacristy.” Complete silence followed. The priest went out of the confession and said, “You are not answering. Can’t you hear anything?“ Not a single word, Father!” the sacristan replied. “Okay, let’s exchange places,” said the priest. “Do the talking and I’ll listen” The sacristan in a solemn voice said, “Father, why are you not giving me until now my sick leave benefits, and SS?” The priest kneeling at the other side rushed out discomfited and said, “You’re right. I cannot hear anything from that side." Are we deaf to our faults?

This Sunday is Grandparents Day. Let us pray for our deceased ones and take good care for the living ones. On the 11th, it is Patriot Day and anniversary of 9- We pray for the deceased victims’ souls and help in the healing of the survivors. On the 13th, we celebrate the feast day of St. John Chrysostom, the “Golden Mouth” Bishop and Doctor of the Church. On the 14th, we commemorate the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Finally, on the 15th, we have the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. This is all for now, watch for the next bulletin. God Bless!

Your Priest-Servant and Parochial Administrator,

Fr. Reggie