Sunday’s Gospel has always been special for me. It’s the story of Jesus healing the deaf man, and since I have been deaf since age 7, I know what the deaf man was going through. Now this is not something that a hearing person would be aware of, but for me, the Gospel shows Jesus at His most kind and courteous.
Do you notice how He led the deaf man away from the crowd? Now for a hearing person this is an absolutely minor detail. But for a deaf person it’s a biggie. Many have been the times when I’ve put my hearing aids in, turned them on, and at that exact moment, there was a really loud noise (such as a jet passing over the seminary on its final approach). I jump six feet every time it happens! Had Jesus cured the man in the midst of the crowd, the poor guy would have been assaulted by the noise. And believe me, it is an assault!!!
It kinda reminds me of the time not long ago when I parked my pickup outside the main entrance to St. Paul’s and ran in to get my mail, leaving the engine running. Unknown to myself, a co-worker was coming back from lunch … he reached in and turned the radio on full blast. I came back, opened the door and was slammed by a wall of sound! I still want to get even!
Personal stories aside, this miracle is a pointed reminder to the disciples of the need to hear the Word of God. The same goes for the healing of those who are blind: it points to the need to see the hand of God in our everyday life. The miracles of Jesus are not done just to show off His power. They are meant to teach us what we need to do in our following of the Lord.
Be God’s smile for someone today!
Fr. Herb, C.S.C.