Friday 9 February 2024

About Today Readings

Day of penance

1 Kings 11:29–32, 12:19. I am the Lord, your God: hear my voice – Psalm 80(81):10–15. Mark 7:31–37.

He makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak

Imagine the plight of the disabled man in the Gospel today. Not only deaf but unintelligible in his speech – in other words, virtually entirely cut off from meaningful social communication and interaction. Imagine what sort of a life he had to look forward to. We are constantly reminded, across the Gospel accounts, that the Jesus who was tough, bold and brave, and wildly intelligent too, was also a man of compassion and pity: ‘Ephphatha . . . be opened!’ Not only was the man’s hearing opened; his very existence was opened to a whole new life. In Christian society ever since his time on Earth, true believers have striven to include the disabled more and more in the mainstream, and Christian doctors and nurses have taken up the charitable impulse of healing exemplified by Jesus. Let us pray in gratitude for doctors and nurses, but also pray that we share Jesus’ compassion every day of our lives.

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