23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B - 5/9/2021 - Gospel: Mk 7: 31-37
A New Horizon
The parable opened a new horizon for the deaf man. It was all about people's kindness, the kindness of those who brought the man to Jesus for healing. By healing the man, Jesus made God's bountiful love and mercy known amongst the pagan.

Jesus came to Sidon, one of the ten cities or towns, known as the Decapolis. Jesus entered this pagan territory. He showed that God's mercy was unlimited. It was available for everyone who was thirsting for God. The town people brought Jesus a deaf and mute man. His deafness cut him off from the world. Jesus brought him back to his community. This man probably had been deaf, and mute from birth. He could neither speak, nor hear. This implied, the man himself had no idea who Jesus was, and knew not that Jesus was actually in town. It was not his parents, or relatives, but people who brought the man to Jesus. We don't know who these people were, his friends or just villagers, who showed pity toward the man. We are certain, these people knew about Jesus, or at least had heard about Jesus' super power. They brought the man to Jesus with the hope that Jesus could cure him. Jesus showed His love for the man, and satisfied the peoples' expectation. Jesus gave the man power to hear, and power to speak. 'His ears were opened, and the ligament of his tongue was loosened and he spoke clearly'. v.

We notice that without other peoples' kindness, the kindness of those who brought the man to Jesus, the deaf and mute man remained to suffer his impediment for life. The manner in which Jesus cured the deaf man is worth of reflection, because Jesus had the power to give a command to heal, but this time Jesus had done differently, He employed both word and action.

The text gave no explanation why Jesus took the man away from the crowd. Most pagans believed in superstition and magicians. Having the man away from the crowd would have some control of the pagans' beliefs. It certainly would help the deaf man to focus on Jesus alone, and it would strengthen the faith of those who already had faith in Jesus. Because of the man's condition, Jesus communicated to him by using sign language. Jesus touched the man's ears with his fingers. He then touched the man's tongue with spittle. Jesus looked up to heaven to indicate the power to heal came from above. Jesus then said to the man, 'Be Opened', and the man was able to hear and to speak clearly. These details showed, that the man had not just a hearing problem, but he was totally deaf. After being healed, the man could speak clearly, showing, that before he wasn't be able to utter a word. Jesus gave him more than the people would have expected of Him. The man spoke clearly. No speech therapy was needed. He spoke for the very first time in his life, and spoke clearly.

Jesus touched the man's heart by touching his ears and his tongue. Jesus had no fear of contracting the man's illness, and also the man's physical dirtiness. His touch cleaned the man's heart. The crowd could not see the inner healing. They praised Jesus for the physical healing of the man, while Jesus' disciples and the man himself praised Jesus for the inner healing, his spiritual healing. The man was spirituality deaf and spirituality speechless. His spiritual deafness was overcome to hear God's word; his spiritual muteness was loosened to praise God. The man was healed of both physical, and spiritual ligaments. He now had a clean heart, a heart of giving thanks to God for saving him from his physical misery, and from eternal damnation. The healing made the crowd believe, that Jesus had the power to make the deaf hear and the dumb speak, the power their magicians did not have.