Father Dave discusses Sunday’s Gospel reading in which Jesus heals the deaf man with a speech impediment and gives him the ability to hear and speak. Father Dave relates the reading to those who have spoken out in the clergy sexual abuse scandals and shares that he recently spoke with a victim whose faith is inspiring. Jesus gives us the ability to speak, and we must not sit back and remain silent in difficult times. God promises redemption and healing, and we must walk humbly with God.
“Every single time I crack open the readings over the last four weeks, it is amazing how God has been speaking to our time,” Father Dave says. “How many people who, decades ago, suffered some sort of abuse. Some horrific, most scarring, almost all life-changing, but were in some way, for a lot of reasons, not able to speak. There is a freedom that comes from being able to finally speak out.”
Father Dave discusses his appearance on MSNBC in which a sexual abuse victim was present. “Imagine my surprise when the next day I got an email from that person … and he said, ‘I appreciated that you showed up and you were there. And I’d love a chance to talk.’ … Yesterday we had a long conversation on the phone, with a man who I dare say loves his faith as much or if not, more than I do. He described his love for the Sacraments and being able to serve on the altar. And in all the tumultuous times and hurt and brokenness in his life, there is still faith. That, to me, is the freeing of speech that needs to happen these days.”
“We are called to act with justice. The omission of action has been an incredibly apparent grave sin in our Church. Act with justice, love tenderly, serve one another, and walk humbly with our God.” Preached at St. Paul the Apostle Church, New York City, on 9-09-18