Reflections - September 6, 2015

“They were exceedingly astonished and they said, “He has done all things well.  He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak”.”
 
In the healing of the deaf mute man Christ makes himself present in a pagan territory, the Decapolis, and there announces the Good News of the Kingdom of God, fulfilling the arrival of the Messianic era.  The Lord identifies with the limitations of human nature destroying it.  “….touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him:  - Ephphatha (Be opened)”.
 
As we can see Jesus did more than the gesture asked of Him of laying his hands, He touched his ears and with saliva touched his tongue.  Why did Jesus do this gesture?
 
Jesus wanted to make clear once more in the healing of the deaf/mute that it was not a “punishment” for his sins or for those of his ancestors and even less that he was “impure.  He also wanted, with this gesture, to not only restore his health, but to integrate back into the community a person who had been “excluded”.
 
This is the point that I would like to reflect upon briefly.
 
Who are the excluded today?
 
There are many older people excluded within families who are not listened or attended to.  Many family members are deaf and mute to their loneliness.  There are many children excluded because Dad and Mom don’t have time to listen to them.  The same happens in the relationship of couples.  There are “many voices” in this hurry-up world in which we live that doesn’t let us listen to others.
 
I remember years ago a high school boy graduated and his father gave him a brand new car and said:  What do you think?  The boy replied:  “Thank you, Daddy, but I would appreciate much more if you would just talk and listen to me one hour each day”.
 
I invite you as you receive Communion to ask the Lord to open your ears and tongue to be able to hear His voice on the needs of those that surround you and to help others by giving encouragement, inspiration, healing, and salvation.