Being unable to hear and speak is a crippling handicap. But even worse than physical deafness and dumbness are the inability or the unwillingness to hear God’s Word and to respond to it, or the refusal to hear the pleas of our neighbor and respond to it with compassion and love.
Jesus was able to restore the gifts of hearing and speech to the deaf and mute man. He can also perform the even greater miracle of healing the spiritually deaf and mute among us.
In this Eucharist, let us pray that we may approach Jesus with humility and faith, and the readiness to obey him, so that we will be able to hear God’s Word clearly in our hearts. This will move us to respond to the call of our neighbors with generous readiness.
As we celebrate this September the “National Catechetical Month,” let us pray for all those who are in the service of catechesis and the people whose lives they touch by their teaching and example.
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. Jesus 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.
Jesus 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.”