Again Jesus left the district of Tyre and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, into the district of the Decapolis. And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment and begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, “Ephphatha!” — that is, “Be opened!” — And immediately the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly. He ordered them not to tell anyone. But the more he ordered them not to, the more they proclaimed it. They were exceedingly astonished and they said, “He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
BE OPENED. Jesus opens the ears of a deaf man. Mark records the healing word in the native language of Jesus. With the Aramaic “Ephphatha,” Jesus heals the deaf man and consequently restores his speech. As he hears sounds, he can now imitate them and therefore can speak.
Jesus shows his power when he entertains people bringing him this man with disability. He has just come back from a preaching stint in Lebanon, north of Galilee; people ask him to perform a miracle, and Jesus obliges. This miracle is a sign that the Kingdom of God has come.
Notice that the deaf man does not go by himself to ask for healing. The people bring him to Jesus. This is an example of vicarious faith. One is healed because of the faith of other people. Their faith is not just for themselves, but also for others who need help.
The healing of the deaf-mute fulfills Isaiah’s prophecy (First Reading) that lists as signs of the Lord’s coming the eyes of the blind opened, the ears of the deaf cleared, the lame leaping like stags, and the tongue of the dumb singing. More than 700 years before Christ, Isaiah declares that the Lord will pay attention to persons with disabilities.
In the Second Reading, James affirms that God takes care of the less fortunate. James denounces those who discriminate against the poor who cannot dress up.
In our celebrations, let us be careful not to drive away the poor from their seats to give way to the rich. Let us open our ears and lips for them. Let us use our beautiful language in their favor.
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.