Friday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Gn 3:1-8; Ps 32:1-7; Mk 7:31-37

As our psalm has us pray, “the LORD is kind and merciful!”  Even though He knows how weak and twisted we really are from the first encounter with the most cunning of all the animals.  In the gospel the Lord Jesus continues to work signs and wonders among the gentiles, and they praise him taking away deafness and enabling them to hear his voice.  Indeed, in this Mass it is faith that opens the ears of our heart to hear and respond to the Lord’s call.

Our ancestors made loincloths to hide their nakedness, but they could not hide their shame.  When the LORD God came to walk with his beloved children at the breezy time of the day, they hid themselves from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.  After the serpent had his way with the weak and foolish humans, he did not leave the garden with great haste.  Perhaps, he wanted to see how the Loving Father would treat these rebellious children.  The gift of communication was shared between the serpent and the woman.  However, the man did not join their dialogue.  He was mute; he had nothing to say.  Perhaps his chosen silence was the greater sin.  Simply allowing his beloved Eve to be seduced, Adam did not fulfill his responsibility as a husband.  No wonder they wanted to hide; they had rebelled against the LORD who had only been kind toward them, kind beyond measure.  Now even their gaze was filled with lust, and they were ashamed of their nakedness.  Eve spoke for both herself and her husband.  Adam was mute.  Original sin reeks havoc in all creation.

Again the Lord travels through a predominately pagan district.  With his reputation the crowds brought him a deaf man with a speech impediment.  They begged him to perform a miracle.  He took the man off by himself away from the crowd.  He did not want to entertain the curious or wow the sightseer.  The Lord Jesus wanted to give the full benefit of his attention and tenderness to the deaf mute.  Perhaps in some ways this man was a symbolic representation for the whole crowd.  Coming from a pagan world he had never heard the Word of God; he had never spoken the praises of God.  Like our ancestor Adam he was silent, unable to speak, perhaps under the influence of an evil spirit, who had all the cunning of the serpent.  The Lord Jesus gave his full love and attention to the deaf mute.  After he touched, spit, and groaned the Lord commanded, “Be opened!” Immediately the man could hear clearly and speak plainly.  The Lord commanded his silence, but the healed man could not hold back the good news.  His disobedience brought the Lord Jesus greater fame.  The crowds were astonished and filled with his praises.  Perhaps the LORD God was beginning again.  Perhaps now even the pagans will hear his word and sing his praises.  Perhaps these signs and wonders will summon all of the descendants of Adam and Eve to obedience.