Friday of the Fifth week of Ordinary Time
Kings 11:29-32; 12:19
Mark 7: 31-37
One of my favorite commercials is the ad of children given the news that their school closed for the day. Kids do lots of crazy things to increase the odds of school closings, but it is their reactions to the news that cracks me up. I can only imagine the reactions from our students to the news of school closed for today.
In our first reading, we hear the news of the reign of King Solomon closed since he stopped listening to the Word of God in his life. The kingdom is split into twelve tribes with his son getting the smallest tribe, which would be assumed into another.
In our Gospel, we hear of a man who is deaf and has a speech impediment, and is brought to Jesus. It is easy to understand how these two handicaps often go together. If you have trouble hearing, you will only mumble what you hear. In ancient times, the gift of hearing gives one the ability to obey another. If you can hear a command, you can do what the person wants. The gift of speech gives one the gift of speech gave one the ability to make a profession of faith to God. What this story exemplifies is that this man is in need of a physical as well as spiritual healing.
Many of us here may have some hearing problems; I wear hearing aids to help me with my hearing loss. What I think our readings challenge us to ask ourselves is, “To what degree do we have a spiritual hearing loss?” When we are spiritually deaf, we assume that our voice is the only voice. The cure for being spiritually deaf is not to hear but to be open. Our hearing returns when we are open to the possibility of God’s Word coming to us.
In this Eucharist may our ears be open to God’s voice!