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23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time B



Mk 7: 31-37


fr. tam nguyen’s photo


While children were presenting a song during a Christmas program, a young girl was obviously not just singing but making strange gestures as she sang. It turned out later that she was communicating with her parents in the audience. Her mom and dad were both deaf and mute, and so the girl was sharing the song’s message to them through sign language.


The world of a deaf and mute must be truly difficult; imagine the impervious wall that blocks sound, the glued silence that inhibits expression. And yet the Lord Jesus broke down this wall and allowed sound to flow freely, while he also untied the timid tongue to sing and shout for joy! That is the essence of today’s Gospel, of this marvelous miracle.


I believe the Gospel speaks about the deaf and mute of our world, too. Today many people are deaf and mute. Not because it’s the way they were born, but because they’re simply stubborn. Not naturally expressionless but because they care less. Today, being deaf and mute is not a defect but a defense. People refuse to be involved, to hear the correct message, to heed the Good News. People refuse to speak encouragement, blessing and a word of healing.


While the gospel’s deaf and mute was waiting for someone to open a passage, today’s deaf and mute prefer the enclosed world where only the self is important. Do we not at times find ourselves unwilling to open our ears and listen to a genuine advice, guidance and correction? Do we not also prefer silence even when others need our voice of support, concern and love?


Let us ask the Lord to heal our deafness today so that we will no longer avoid the voices we need to hear. Let us ask the Lord to heal our muteness so that we can escape from the refusal to edify, accept and forgive. Let us respond to Jesus saying to us: “Ephphatha, Be Opened!”