Scripture: 1st Reading: 1Kgs11,29-32;12,19; Resp. Psalm: Ps81,10-15; Gosp. Accl.: Acts16,14; Gospel: Mk7,31-37
In the gospel passage today, we hear of a man who could not hear and who had an impediment in his speech. This man in order words could not speak and could not hear. In a sense, this man was in his own world. But not really. The word of God tells us that the man was brought to Jesus by others.
These other people saw the misery in the life of this man born deaf and dumb. They felt for him that he could not communicate and lead a normal life, the type they were living. They had compassion on him. They brought him to Jesus.
This is one thing we need to do often: to bring people to Jesus. We are the ones to heal them. But we are to be the signposts leading them to the One who has the power to heal them. They did not just bring him to Jesus. They pleaded on his behalf. When we bring people to Jesus, we must also pray along with them, plead for them before the Lord.
Our Lord in this miracle of healing took His time and used some important signs. He did not command the deafness and dumbness to go with just a word, which He could have done anyway. But the word tells us that He took him aside from the multitude privately, put His fingers into his ears, spat and touched his tongue.
Our Lord used the sense of touch. This is a very powerful tool in human relations. Touch communicates deep feelings; it communicates life. This is why it must not be used carelessly or wasted on useless or unprofitable pursuits that do not contribute to our eternal salvation.
Our Lord then looked up to heaven, sighed and said to the man born deaf and dumb, "Ephphatha", that is, "Be opened". The power to create belongs to God; the power to recreate also belongs to Him. Our Lord demonstrated this power in the healing of this man. He opened his ears and released his tongue. The man spoke plainly!
This power to bring relief and succour is one our Lord shares with us who believe in Him. Our vocation as believers is to bring happiness and joy into the lives of people. We are called to eradicate pain and suffering whenever and wherever we find them. The people who saw the miracle today, even though they were charged not to tell anyone, could not contain the message within themselves.
They zealously proclaimed what they saw. The word of God teaches us that they were astonished beyond measure, saying: "He has done all things well; He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak." That contains a lesson for us too. We have seen the goodness of God. Countless times we have experienced His extraordinary favours. Those are reasons to proclaim His wonders. They are opportunities for evangelization. It is our responsibility to make the favours He did to us known to others.
Solomon also did all things well, but to a certain point in his life. He did not do all things well till the very end. At a point in his life, in spite of the wisdom he was endowed with, Solomon forgot the God of his Fathers. His heart was seduced by the women he married to build abominations to the gods served by these women. The repercussion of that indiscretion is what we see I'm today's first reading. The kingdom was torn from his hands and ten tribes were given to Jeroboam and others after him.
Solomon did not realize that he could not serve God with gods. He failed to understand that the One He served demanded total, undivided devotion. We should learn from his mistakes. We should also learn from the miracle of healing in today's gospel to always give thanks and proclaim the wonders that the Lord has done for us so that those who do not believe will come to faith through our testimony.
Let us pray: O God our heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of our lives. Teach us never to misuse your gifts. Give us your grace to always give thanks for all you do for us and proclaim your goodness to others. Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.