Friday of the Fifth Week of Ordinary Time – Odd Year

Posté par diaconos le 12 février 2021

He makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak

Friday of the Fifth Week of Ordinary Time - Odd Year dans Catéchèse Jesus-Heals-Deaf-Mute

# Healing the deaf mute of Decapolis is one of the miracles of Jesus in the Gospels, namely Mark 7:31-37.[1] Its narration offers many parallels with the healing of the blind man of Bethsaida in Mark 8:22-26 New Testament commentator Lamar Williamson writes that this is the last unit in a series of miracles concerned with the identity of Jesus, as subsequently confirmed by the Apostle Peter’s christological affirmation in Mark 8:29, where Peter exclaimed: « You are the Messiah »


From the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark

 At that time, Jesus left the territory of Tyre; passing through Sidon, he headed for the Sea of Galilee and went into the territory of the Decapolis. Some people brought him a deaf man who also had difficulty speaking, and begged Jesus to lay his hand on him.
Jesus took him away from the crowd, put his fingers in his ears, and with his saliva touched his tongue. Then, looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him : « Effata ! « That is to say,  Open up ! « His ears opened, his tongue loosened, and he spoke properly. Then Jesus ordered them not to say anything to anyone; but the more he ordered them, the more they proclaimed it. They were very much struck and said :  « He has done all things well: he makes the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak. » (Mk 7, 31-37)

Healing of a deaf-mute

Jesus, having left the territory of Tyre, returned to the sea through the Decapolis. A deaf-mute was brought to him and asked to lay hands on him. Jesus pulled him out of the crowd, touched his ears and his tongue, and looking up to heaven, he sighed and said, « Ephphatha, open up! « The cripple was completely healed.

Jesus forbade those present to tell about this miracle, but the more he forbade it, the more they published it. In extreme astonishment they cried out, « He has done everything right!  « Jesus had gone as far as the northern limits of Galilee, where the territory of Tyre began.

Now, instead of immediately retracing his steps, he made a diversion further north, through Sidon, or, as others heard, through the territory of Sidon, to return to the Sea of Galilee, crossing Lebanon in the direction of Damascus and then crossing the Decapolis. Mark does not say why Jesus chose this route.

In this long journey through pagan country, he spoke with his disciples in a continuous manner. The Decapolis was a vast country, located beyond the Jordan River in the north-east of Galilee. Jesus once approached this region; he had to withdraw at the prayer of the inhabitants, but left a witness of his power there : « Then they began to beg Jesus to leave their land. As Jesus got back into the boat, the possessed man begged to be with him. He did not agree, but said to him, « Go home to your people and tell them all that the Lord has done for you in his mercy. « (Mk 5:17-19).

Jesus took the deaf-mute aside to be alone with the sick man, to enter into a personal relationship with him and leave him with a deeper impression of his healing ? The Gospel presents various similar facts. Usually Jesus healed only by word of mouth. If he acted otherwise, what could his goal be ?

Some thought that he wanted to make up for what was lacking in the faith of the sick person; to encourage him by showing him that he cared for him with interest. Others suppose that he had in view the witnesses of the healing and accommodated their ideas about the efficacy of certain means, in order to prevent in them the superstition which might have been attached to the miracle.

However, with Olshausen, it should be pointed out that even where Jesus did not heal only by word of mouth, he never used means alien to his person; in it resided exclusively the divine power that restored health to the sick and even life to the dead.

There was great solemnity in the accomplishment of this miracle. Jesus, as he often did, raised his eyes to heaven, where his gaze sought all light and power from God; he sighed, either by raising his ardent prayer to God, or by the pain he felt in taking upon himself our infirmities; finally, he spoke the powerful word that restored the unfortunate man’s hearing and speech : Ephphatha !  (open up!)

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Links to other Christian websites

◊ Catholic Culture : click here to read the papper →  Friday of the Fifth Week of Ordinary Time – February

◊ Daily Lectio : click here to read the papper →   Friday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

   Reflection – Friday – 5th Week in Ordinary Time

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