instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Monday, September 07, 2015

To those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not!

Here's something suggested by, if not outright preached in, the homily I heard yesterday.

Isaiah's oracle --
Here is your God,
he comes with vindication;
with divine recompense
he comes to save you.
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened,
the ears of the deaf be cleared;
then will the lame leap like a stag,
then the tongue of the mute will sing. 
-- told Israel what it would look like when God came to save them. The district of the Decapolis, where Jesus healed the deaf and dumb man, was pagan territory. They may not have know Isaiah's prophecy, but they knew that what Jesus did among them was remarkable. The NABRE notes, of Mk 7:36, "He ordered them not to tell anyone. But the more he ordered them not to, the more they proclaimed it.":
The more they proclaimed it: the same verb proclaim attributed here to the crowd in relation to the miracles of Jesus is elsewhere used in Mark for the preaching of the gospel on the part of Jesus, of his disciples, and of the Christian community (Mk 1:14; 13:10; 14:9). Implied in the action of the crowd is a recognition of the salvific mission of Jesus; see note on Mt 11:56.
People recognize the deaf hearing and the mute speaking as signs of God's salvific presence. True, the recognition is made within the overall context of a person's beliefs and opinions; a thing is received according to the mode of the receiver. There's more to proclaiming the Gospel than proclaiming that Jesus did all things well. But the recognition is there to be made, if people see the deaf hear and the mute speak.

The question for me is, do I hear what I was once deaf to, and if so do I speak of it? Following Isaiah, do I sing of it?

Lagniappe:The Rite of Baptism (the homilist pointed out) includes the "Ephphetha Prayer":
Priest: The Lord Jesus made the deaf hear and the mute speak. May He soon touch your ears to receive his word, and your mouth, to proclaim his faith, to the praise and glory of God the Father.
All: Amen.
Receiving Jesus' word and proclaiming His faith is the work of the baptized. That pagan fellow from the district of the Decapolis, who couldn't hear or speak until he was brought to Jesus, then couldn't stop speaking about Jesus? He is us. Those of us who didn't fully live out our baptism yesterday should be working on being him today.