Friday, September 4, 2015

Healing our deafness

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
September 6, 2015

Mark 7:31-37

The prophets of Israel often used "deafness" as a provocative metaphor to talk about the closure and the resistance of the people to their God. Israel "has ears but can not hear" what God is saying. Therefore, a prophet calls everyone to conversion with these words: "Deaf ones, listen and hear."

In this context, the healings of the deaf, narrated by the gospel writers, can be interpreted as "tales of conversion" that invite us to let ourselves be healed by Jesus of deafness and resistance that keep us from hearing his call to follow. Specifically, Mark provides in his account highly suggestive refinements for working on this conversion in the Christian communities.

  • The deaf person is oblivious to everyone. He doesn't seem to be aware of his condition. He does nothing to approach the one who can heal him. Luckily for him, some friends care about him and bring him to Jesus. That's how the Christian community must be -- a group of brothers and sisters who help one another to live around Jesus, letting themselves be healed by him.
  • Curing the deafness isn't easy. Jesus takes the sick man with him, retires to one side and focuses on him. Recollection and a personal relationship are necessary. In our Christian groups, we need an atmosphere that allows believers to have a more intimate and vital contact with Jesus. Faith in Jesus Christ is born and grows in that relationship with him.
  • Jesus works hard on the ears and tongue of the patient, but it's not enough. It is necessary that the deaf person collaborate. Therefore, Jesus, after lifting his eyes to heaven, seeking for the Father to associate himself with his healing work, yells at the sick man the first word that anyone who is deaf to Jesus and his Gospel must hear: "Be opened!"

It's urgent that we Christians hear Jesus' call today too. These are not easy times for the Church. We are asked to act with lucidity and responsibility. It would be disastrous to be deaf to his call today, ignoring his words of life, not hearing his good news, not reading the signs of the times, living locked in our deafness. Jesus' healing power can cure us.

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