Memory of Jesus crucified

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Mark 7,31-37

Returning from the territory of Tyre, he went by way of Sidon towards the Lake of Galilee, right through the Decapolis territory. And they brought him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they asked him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside to be by themselves, away from the crowd, put his fingers into the man's ears and touched his tongue with spittle. Then looking up to heaven he sighed; and he said to him, 'Ephphatha,' that is, 'Be opened.' And his ears were opened, and at once the impediment of his tongue was loosened and he spoke clearly. And Jesus ordered them to tell no one about it, but the more he insisted, the more widely they proclaimed it. Their admiration was unbounded, and they said, 'Everything he does is good, he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.'

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus continues to communicate the Gospel in pagan territory and even here his passage continues to create that new atmosphere of celebration and hope, especially experienced by the sick and the poor, like in Galilee. Some pagans, who had heard about the famed healings of the young prophet, bring a deaf-mute man before Jesus. Jesus takes the man with him, away from the crowds. The Gospel continues to emphasize that healing, whether in body or heart, it is always in a personal relationship with Jesus. We need a direct relationship with Jesus: we need to look in his eyes, to hear his Word--even a single word (the centurion asked Jesus, "Speak only one word, and my servant will be healed"). Also in this case, after touching the man with his hands, so as to underline the concreteness of the relationship, and after having prayed, Jesus again says only one word to the deaf-mute, "Be opened!" And the man is healed: he begins to hear and speak. Jesus says, "Be opened," to us as well. We, too, so often are deaf and mute: we are deaf to the Word of the Lord and to the cry of the poor and therefore also mute in prayer and in the answers to those who ask for help and support. We need to listen and to pray in order to fulfil the evangelizing mission that the Lord entrusts us. A little later in the Gospel, Jesus will say to his disciples, "Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear?" (Mk 8:17-18). The astonishment of the crowd in front of Jesus who heals people is immediate and begins to spread. Jesus would like them to be silent. But how can we be silent before the Gospel that saves? If we open our ears to the Gospel and our eyes to the wonders that emanate from it, we cry out like that crowd, "He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak."