Tuesday, 4 September 2018


Jesus Cures Deaf and Dumb Man 

My niece, Clare, was born profoundly deaf.   Her inability to hear meant that she couldn’t pick up the sound of people speaking to her.    She couldn’t imitate their speech and, so, learn to talk.  Her deafness resulted in her being dumb. Until the problem was diagnoses she was thought to be mentally retarded –mentally dumb.  And her deafness meant that she couldn’t enjoy the pleasures which we take for granted –music, the sound of birds.  Nor could she hear danger signals –smoke alarms, the sound of traffic, warning shouts.  That made her especially vulnerable.  Anyone who is going deaf finds it difficult to follow and join in conversations.  Deafness can easily result in feeling isolated.
All this was true of the deaf man in today’s Gospel, who had a serious speech impediment.  Though he was unable to hear Jesus and ask for help, he was fortunate in having friends who brought him to the Lord and sought His help.  Jesus responded with great compassion.  Taking the man aside where he wouldn’t be embarrassed, He used the physical gestures of touching his ears and tongue.  These the man could appreciate.
At the command, ‘Be open’ the deaf and dumb man was able to hear and speak fluently.   Now that he could listen and talk the whole quality of his life improved.   This damaged, isolated, man had been made whole.  He could enjoy a conversation.   No wonder people exclaimed of Jesus, ‘He does all things well.’   If that echoes God’s comment on his work of creation we can see here Jesus beginning to repair that creation. 
But Christ’s work of re-creation goes much further than making us physically whole.  The healing miracles point to how Jesus restores us spiritually.  And so, today’s Gospel cures tell us that Jesus heals our deafness to God’s word.  He opens our minds and hearts so that we can hear God’s word, listen to it and follow it.   If we are prepared to heed God we will find that he enriches our lives.   Jesus has come to give us the fullness of life.  
And hearing the word of God enables us to communicate it.  Firstly, with God himself in the dialogue of prayer.    And then with each other as we share our faith.   We will find that explaining our faith and listening to others will deepen our understanding and commitment.   Our lives will be enriched by this dialogue of faith.  
Jesus has come to heal our damaged lives –to make us physically and spiritually whole.   By healing the deaf and dumb He fulfils the prophecy of Isaiah and proclaims that the messianic age has dawned.   That work of healing will only be completed when we are raised to the glory of the resurrection.
Isidore O.P.

No comments:

Post a Comment