The man in the gospel couldn’t hear, nor could he speak. How could he ever earn a living? How could he live in a culture that deeply valued oral communication? The man was poor in so many ways. Jesús approaches him and becomes very physical in the way he heals, using his own spit, rubbing it into the man’s ears, groaning as a new creation is occurring.
The man is restored, healed, being able to hear and speak freely. Jesus tells him, commands him, to tell no one about the miracle. Really??? Could Jesus actually be serious??? The man, and presumably many others who witnessed the man’s ability to see and speak, let the word spread about the healing powers of Jesus. The healed man was using his fresh sounding voice to proclaim “good news.” Think of what and how he heard new sounds... the sound of voices of praise.
While most of us can speak and hear quite clearly, we ALL need to be healed, spiritually, in what we listen to and the words that come forth from our mouths. Oftentimes, we only hear what we want to hear, selective hearing, that fortifies hardened ways of thinking. We frequently speak words of bitterness, slander and gossip.
We need to LISTEN more to God’s voice within, who speaks in our prayer. Prayer, quiet, contemplative prayer, helps us to “tune in” to God’s voice... listening to what He wants to say to us. From this quiet prayer, we can choose carefully the words we speak, by filtering out words that rip apart, lie, cause scandal, complain.
As we begin Lent next Ash Wednesday, may SILENCE quiet our external speaking and hearing. May we LISTEN to God’s voice in our prayer, letting God’s voice saturate our hearts... and may our voices be used to give God praise and glory, by speaking only the words that people need to hear to uplift them, nourish them, make them laugh!!!