MARK 7:31-37

Friends, our Gospel for today has to do with Jesus’ healing of a deaf man with a speech impediment. As always, we have to look at the surface and at the depth. Jesus is performing a physical miracle. But every one of his actions should also be read symbolically, so as to uncover a deeper spiritual meaning.

So what does Jesus do? He "put his finger in the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue." Jesus establishes, as it were, an electrical current, running from God the Father, through him, to this man. He—almost literally—plugs him into the divine current, compelling him to hear the word. He says "Ephphatha," be opened. When he does, his speech impediment is immediately overcome. Now he is able to speak the word of God clearly.

So this deaf man stands for all of us who do not hear the word of God, who have grown oblivious to it. And what is the result of this deafness? A speech impediment. At the spiritual level, if you don’t hear the word of God clearly, then your capacity to speak it is also severely compromised.