Friday of the 5th Week of the Year

Mk 7:31-37

The Healing of a Deaf Man


Communication can at times fail between two relatively healthy people, how much more when one is hearing-impaired or totally deaf and mute?

Some romantics paint deafness and muteness as a blessing. One incapable of hearing and speaking is immune from the sinful world of sounds and words. It can be a blessing indeed but such impairment could also be frustrating.

A deaf-mute sees things, witnesses events, perceives colors, motion, people. However, a special sign language and special-trained people are needed for him/her to communicate the experience.

Spiritual deafness could be the worse than the physical kind. A spiritually deaf-mute person has all the channels for response and engagement, but chooses not to respond. Such person can also select what she/he only wants to hear. A spiritual deaf-mute can, for example, “shut his ears” from somebody’s pleas for help, for forgiveness,, for quality time or from constructive criticism and advice.

Jesus heals a deaf-mute in this gospel story. Through Him may we be delivered from spiritual deafness. (Fr. Gerry del Pinado, SVD Bible Diary 2004)


I witnessed on television how a woman, a cancer patient, was cured of her illness through the healing hands of Father Joey Faller. His usual words were: “Have faith in God and forgive.”

Where there is illness there is healing. In the Church, the gift of healing co-existed with it. That is why, in our seven sacraments there are Sacraments of Healing namely: Sacrament of Penance and Anointing of the Sick. The Sacrament of Penance, contrary to the unfounded belief of our protestant brothers and sisters that it is not biblically-based, coexisted with the Church. Jesus gave authority to His disciples to forgive sins. “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, whose sins you retain are retained (John 20:23). It is already present in the early Christian community wherein James admonished them to “confess sins to one another,” (Jas 5:16). Confession is opening up to God through His minister. It is God who forgives. We open our negative thoughts and feelings to the minister believing that God is using him as His instrument.

Another Sacrament of Healing is the Anointing of the Sick. It is God who heals. The Church shares only in the healing ministry of Jesus. Jesus Himself commanded His disciples to heal the sick through anointing with oil (Mk 6:7, 12-13). This command of Jesus was shared by James to the Christian community when he asked them, “to call the priest of the Church to pray over the sick person and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord,” (Jas 5:14). I had experiences wherein the negative connotation of being anointed is still strong especially among the elderly. It is because before it was called ‘extreme unction’ or the last sacrament. Of course, if you hear that this is the last sacrament, you will be scared to be anointed. But the Church has changed this to anointing of the sick, which could be received not only once but as the case maybe (CCC 1515).

Just as the deaf in our gospel today received hearing and the many sick people healed, we too can be healed of our afflictions, maybe not in the ways we want but his. (Fr. Renato Tampol, SVD Bible Diary 2009)


Reflection: Jesus could have refused to grant the wish of the deaf man but, how could Jesus refuse to do His mission of altruistic love and healing? How could Jesus refuse someone who was in dire need of His help and someone who humbly begged Him?

We learn also about humility from the deaf man. He did not only ask Jesus to heal him; he begged Jesus to grant him his healing touch. What can we learn from the people who brought the deaf man to Jesus? We learn to help and we learn not to always focus on ourselves. But rather focus on someone who is in dire need of our help.

Today being Valentine’s day, let us emulate (imitate) Jesus on how He gave His unconditional love. Let us not only limit our love to romantic love let us extend it further. So that it could transcend romantic love that it now becomes an altruistic love.

Let us also begged Jesus to grant us the gift of understanding this altruistic love so that we could learn what real love is. For it’s only in learning altruistic love that we could learn how to love even those who are difficult to love (Marino J. Dasmarinas)



See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Friday of the 5th Week of the Year

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