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The healing of a deaf man

Gospel reading: Mk 7:31-37
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.”

We who can hear well and speak clearly may never understand what a deaf and mute person goes through—until one day we find our hearing impaired because of excessive earwax or some ear infection. The freedom that one experiences as the blocking object is removed is indescribable! When we cannot hear and speak, our worlds become limited; our capacity to relate with others is grossly hindered. We become less human, and others often look down on us.

Thus, when Jesus heals such a man in the Gospel, we can imagine the joy he feels. Whereas before his world was “closed,” “shut up,” now he is free to express himself: his joys and sorrows, his praises and hopes. His world is “opened” once again. Jesus comes to liberate people from all forms of oppression and give them back their dignity.

Many people today are not heard. It is not that they cannot speak, but they are drowned out by the more boisterous voices of the powerful. In society and in the Church, let us strive to hear the voices of those condemned to silence by their powerlessness and to speak for them.


What seems to shut us in or imprison us?

Are we instruments of making people break free from powerlessness and finding their voice?

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.