Sunday, February 14, 2010


Mark 7: 31-37

In this healing miracle there is something that speaks to each of us. The man cannot speak or hear. If you are deaf from birth, your speech will be affected. You cannot hear words; much less learn to speak them. What does Jesus touch first? He touches the man's ears. Then Jesus touches the man's tongue. Jesus says, "Be opened." That is let the man's ears be open to hear. Part of this miracle is that the man can suddenly talk as well, with no trouble.

I think that Jesus touched the ears first because we have to learn to listen before we can speak. This is why Jesus tells him and his friends to tell no one. Why? Because if they don't learn to listen to Jesus and his message first, they will just blab about Jesus the miracle worker. Jesus the miracle worker does not require us to do much of anything. But the message of Jesus and his cross/resurrection requires a response on our part.

I think that my vocation as a priest requires me to listen to people before I speak. Priests are supposed to be pastors, not school professors. In school the teacher tells you things and you listen. The professor does not first spend much time listening to you. The professor wants to get some material across and you are supposed to give it back in a test with some thinking on your part. I don't see myself as a professor with a body of knowledge you have to know. I see myself as someone who needs to listen to people so I know how to respond to their needs.

It seems that Jesus spent thirty somewhat "silent" years before he began to teach. Maybe he was listening?

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