Reflection on Scripture Twenty-Third Sunday Gospel B

By 9:25 AM

Twenty-Third Sunday Year B

Again Jesus left the district of Tyre and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, into the district of the Decapolis.
· Jesus goes to Sidon which is north of Tyre and then east to the Gentile territory on the other side of the Sea of Galilee.  In a previous trip to this area he exorcised a demonic man and the people asked Jesus to leave their territory.

And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment and begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him off by himself away from the crowd.  
· Symbolically, the man can stand both for the Jews and Gentiles who were deaf to God and his word. Are we at times deaf to God’s word?
· Why do you think he took the man aside away from the crowd? Was it not to draw attention to what Jesus was going to do?

He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, “Ephphatha!”— that is, “Be opened!” --and immediately the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly. 
· What is the symbolism of putting his finger in the man’s ears and saliva on his tongue? What is the symbolism of Jesus looking up to heaven before  saying the words?
· Do you see a connection with baptism?

He ordered them not to tell anyone. But the more he ordered them not to, the more they proclaimed it. They were exceedingly astonished and they said, “He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
· In ordering the people not to say anything about the actual healing, Mark was trying to convey to his readers that Jesus was more than a healer. We must wait until his death and resurrection to fully understand the mystery of Jesus.
· What needs to be opened in our hearts, eyes and minds? What application do we make from this miracle?

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