And immediately the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly…
Did Jesus need to go through a whole ritual of touching this poor man’s ears and tongue? Of course not. More than once, Jesus healed without any physical contact with the beneficiary. Why the seemingly strange effort in this case? I can only hazard a guess. Recall that Jesus was in pagan territory. The man could well have wondered whether this Jewish prophet would have any compassion for him. He was probably marginalized by many in his own country as well. Yet, Jesus not only healed, but he also touched him. His was an act of friendship, of love.
Furthermore, we are told that Jesus “…took him off by himself away from the crowd…” In this way, he could deal personally with the deaf and dumb man. He so often deals with us in the same way: “one on one.” His touch is always personal. And it continues to be personal, especially in the sacraments. In the Eucharist, for example, Jesus touches us most intimately by inviting us to his table and feeding us with his own body and blood.
Most of Jesus’ life was lived among people who were sick, or hiding their shame of the past, dealing with illness in their family or with their friends, or losing a loved one in death. The same is true for us today. If we can imagine the touch of Jesus in our own lives, we have so much to be grateful for. There is no better way of thanking Jesus for his healing touch in our lives other than being careful to imitate that same loving concern as we try to bring Christ to those around us.
Let Us Pray:
O loving Jesus, how often do I need your healing touch on my ears so that I may hear your voice more clearly and respond more generously to your call. Touch me, heal me, fill me with your love.
Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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