Again Jesus left the district of Tyre and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, into the district of the Decapolis. And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment and begged him to lay his hand on him.
UNDERSTAND | By Father Greg Friedman, OFM
In the musical Man of La Mancha, Don Quixote sings about his quest for "the impossible dream."
That song became a hit in part, I believe, because all of us have some kind of dream—some vision of a hope-filled future that keeps us going. Christians believe that Jesus Christ fulfills humanity's dreams of a world at peace—in harmony, with all of our human imperfections made whole.
Today's First Reading is an Old Testament prophecy of such a dream coming true. Isaiah has a vision of a time when those who cannot hear or cannot see will be given hearing and sight; and when the lifeless deserts will become fertile.
Mark, the author of today's Gospel, believed that Jesus would fulfill that Isaian vision. He incorporated some of Isaiah's visionary language into his account of Jesus giving the powers of hearing and speech to a man. That scene is portrayed in great detail by Mark, with Jesus using gestures, groans, and even spitting as he carries out this power-filled sign.
For me, the scene captures both Jesus' humanity and divinity. And it communicates what Mark and his community of faith are witnessing to in this Gospel: That Jesus is the one who will fulfill all our dreams for healing, wholeness, and peace. What are you hoping for this week?
DISCUSS | By Father Dan Kroger, OFM
According to the first reading (Is 35:4-7a), what is the message Isaiah is to give to those whose hearts are frightened?
What will the Lord do for these people?
The Lord promises some surprises. What are some of those surprises?
In the second reading (Jas 2:1-5), James presents the possibility the there may be some big differences in the way the rich and the poor are treated in the church community. What are those differences?
James reminds the church that “God chose those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith. What is James telling the members of the church how they should act?
According to this week's Gospel (Mk 7:31-37), what did Jesus do for the deaf man who had a difficulty in speaking?
Did Jesus give any instructions about whether news of this cure should be spread around?
How did the people there react to what Jesus had done?
Many people who are deaf use sign language to communicate. Learn how to spell your name using sign language. You can find the alphabet here.
Go through your clothes and see if there are any you can donate to a local shelter.