From the Pastor's Desk
The central theme of today’s readings is an invitation to us to become humble instruments of healing in Jesus’ hands by giving voice to the voiceless and caring love to the needy and the marginalized in our society. The readings also invite us to open our ears to hear the word of God and to let our tongues be loosened by the Holy Spirit to convey the Good News of God’s love and salvation to others.
Scripture lessons: The first reading (Is 35:4-7), reminds us that God’s eyes are constantly focused on the helpless. God especially cares for "the frightened, the blind, the deaf, the lame, the mute," and He encourages the powerless to "be strong and fearless."
This is why, in today’s second reading (James 2:1-5), the apostle gives us some basic and challenging principles of social justice. He exhorts Christians to show no partiality based on external appearance and to practice God’s “preferential option” for the poor. He warns the faithful against scorning or shaming the poor while showing special consideration to the rich. Today’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 146), sings of a God who gives sight to the blind, raises up those who are bowed down and welcomes strangers.
Today’s Gospel describes how Jesus, by healing a deaf and mute man, fulfilled Isaiah’s Messianic prophecy, "The eyes of the blind shall be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped." The ailments listed by Isaiah are symbolic of our interior illnesses: blindness to the needs of our neighbor, unwillingness to hear God’s voice and the inability to speak words of praise and gratitude. Through this miracle story, Mark also reminds us that no one can be a follower of the Lord without reaching out to the helpless (“preferential option for the poor”).
Life messages: 1) We need to help Jesus to heal the deaf and the mute today. Jesus desires to give us his healing touch in order to loosen our tongues so that he may speak to the spiritually hungry through us. He invites us to give him our hearts so that he may touch the lives of people in our day through us, just as he touched the lives of millions through saintly souls like Francis of Assisi, Damien of Molokai, Vincent de Paul and Blessed Mother Teresa. Jesus’ compassionate touch will help us to hear the cries of the poor and the sick. It will teach us to show kindness, mercy and consideration to others. His healing touch will also help us convey peace and hope to those around us.
2) We need to allow Jesus to heal our spiritual deafness and muteness. We may find it hard to speak to God in prayer and harder still to hear Him speaking to us through the Bible and through the Church. Hence, let us imitate the dumb man in the gospel by seeking out Jesus, following him away from the crowd, and spending more of our time in coming to know him intimately as we study Holy Scripture and experience him directly in our lives in personal prayer.