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Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

Friday 5th in Ordinary Time

Gospel text (Mk 7,31-37): Again Jesus set out (…); skirting the sea of Galilee, he came to the territory of Decapolis. There a deaf man who also had difficulty in speaking was brought to him. They asked Jesus to lay his hand upon him. Jesus took him apart from the crowd, put his fingers into the man's ears and touched his tongue with spittle. Then, looking up to heaven, he groaned and said to him, «Epheta», that is, be opened. And his ears were opened, his tongue was loosened, and he began to speak clearly (…).

In Jesus’ healing action enters the prayer

EDITORIAL TEAM evangeli.net (based on texts by Benedict XVI) (Città del Vaticano, Vatican)

Today, we consider how in Jesus’ healing action clearly enters the prayer, with His eyes looking up to Heaven. The power that cured the deaf-mute was certainly instigated by His compassion towards him, but it came from the fact Jesus Christ appealed to the Father.

The decision to take the sick man aside ensures that at the moment of his healing Jesus and the deaf-mute are on their own, brought together in a unique relationship. The intensity of Jesus’ attention is demonstrated in that with a single gesture the Lord touches the sick man’s ears and tongue, that is the specific sites of his infirmity, and He used his own fingers and even his own saliva.

—But the central point of this episode, however, is the fact that when Jesus was about to work the healing, He sought His relationship with the Father. Jesus’ attention and treatment of the sick man are linked by a profound attitude of prayer addressed to God.