Friday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
The healing of the deaf-mute
Again he 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.” Mk 7,31-37
Before performing the miracle of the healing of this deaf-mute, Jesus brings him aside. The reason is not, as he usually does, to avoid the involved enthusiasms of the crowd, but to isolate this man who will have to hear and to touch what in any natural place is not possible to do: the mystery about the person of Jesus This healing takes place in two stages: the deaf-mute is healed first in the hearing and then in the word, because only those who are able to hear it is good that they are able to speak. The miracle is, however, preceded by an event: Jesus makes a sigh, which gives the Holy Spirit, so that the man can hear and speak “plainly”, which, theologically, means listen to and proclaim with heavenly wisdom the mysteries of the Kingdom of the heaven. This is what we ought to do when we approach the Holy Scriptures: to pray and to invoke the Holy Spirit before hearing and speaking of the mysteries of God. Only in this way we can break wisely for others the bread of the received Word, as the priest does at the altar with the bread of the eucharist. It is a communication which is established between God and the man, where the person who listens and then speaks has to act only as the electric wire, opposing the least possible resistance to transmit the message, as it is the case for the electricity. As in the transmission of the electric power the good quality is ensured by the conductivity, in the case of the thought of God it is secured by the holiness. But the works and the lifestyle of someone who listens and transmits the thought of God are always disturbing a little the communication of the message, so it is necessary, before hearing the word of God and then speaking, to invoke the Holy Spirit, because the grace of God can overcome the lack of holiness and the message goes faithfully ahead.