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From Father’s Desk: 23rd Sunday in OT

Today’s Gospel is on the weirder side. The deaf man, unable to hear or to speak, is taken off to the side to be somewhat alone with Jesus. Jesus puts His finger in the man’s ear and presumably spits on another finger and touches that to the man’s tongue. In this posture, Jesus groans in Aramaic “Be opened!” The man suddenly can hear and understand and can speak plainly.

This deaf man can speak plainly never having had the opportunity to learn the language. He understands it even though he has never heard it! What kind of miracle is this? I’d propose this is the plainest and most natural kind of miracle, even though it sounds a bit weird. Original sin left our souls disordered and confused, we still have some capabilities but they are all just a bit broken because we disconnected ourselves from God.

When we live a life of grace we are participating in God’s divine order, we are being plugged back in to perfect communication. It’s also interesting that this man is deaf and therefore his speech is confused. That makes obvious sense on the physical level, but it’s just as obvious on the spiritual level. If we do not first listen to the word of God, our speech, our whole lives will be gravely confused. We must “be open” to God’s word. We must be plugged in to God’s grace. We must first hear the Word of God, who is Jesus Christ, and hearing Him know Him, then our life will be properly ordered.

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