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Friday 4 September 2009
There can be various reasons of course for this Journey, but in the verses before, we can read that while arriving in the region of Tyre and Sidon "he entered a house, and would not have any one know it; yet he could not be hid." (Mk 7:24 RSV) and in the passage of this Sunday we read again that while "he charged them to tell no one; but the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it." (Mar 7:36 RSV) and also "they were astonished beyond measure" (Mar 7:37 RSV).
When Jesus is healing the man who is deaf and has the impediment of speech, we read that "and looking up to heaven, he sighed" (Mar 7:34 RSV). Jesus is showing His humanity; He sighs deeply, or groans, while He prays to the father, being moved by the man who is in a state preventing him to live life to the full.
Jesus is constantly relying on His relation with His Father, and time with the Father is very important to Him, as we can see in the passages where He goes away alone to pray (e.g. Mt 14:23, Lk 6:12). So maybe the long route through relatively inhabitant lands was to allow Himself and His close followers to come to retreat for a while from the crowds and to pray. I guess it probably struck me as I, and the other students in the house, will go on our annual weeks retreat tomorrow. But anyhow, we can re-think and reflect on the position of prayer and silence for God in our lives...
The second point I will make is about the man who is deaf and has an impediment of speech. The man could not hear properly; in a way that can be experienced as not fully realizing what happens around you. He also had an impediment of speech, so He could not properly express himself properly.
It seems to me that one could look at this as in a way somebody who did not experience fully what life is about, what the real reality is. The poor man lived in a way in a world very enclosed by the limitations of hearing and speech and thankfully the people brought him to Jesus and He cured Him from this state of being. This state of being however can maybe be associated with anybody who does not know the Truth, who does not know Jesus and does not know what life is fully about but lives in his own enclosed world.
Before I became aware of God in my life I could see myself as this dumb and deaf man, not fully understanding the world, not being in tune with the real world. It is the knowledge of Jesus, who is the Truth which will bring us in touch with what it is really about, who heals us and draws us out of our enclosed bubble in to reality.
Finally, the translation gives "and they brought to him a man who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech;" (Mar 7:32 RSV). And it struck me that the text is actually saying "they are bringing". I was thinking about this as me myself continually being brought to Jesus, still now in our present time as a continual process, to be continually healed from my impediments and difficulties. These stories are not stories which are just happening in the past, they are real events which are happening all the time...
The people got really touched by Jesus and although "he charged them to tell no one; but the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it." (Mar 7:36 RSV) and also "they were astonished beyond measure" (Mar 7:37 RSV). This is the effect of starting to know Jesus, the little flame in our hearts which might have been almost extinguished gets new life and becomes a flame and maybe even a furnace.
The only thing we really have to do is to be open to His call and to accept His love. Then we might become the people who in the Gospel story brought the deaf and speech impeded man to Jesus...