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Faith Daily | 10 February 2023

PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p535

Father of all,

who gave your only-begotten Son

to take upon himself the form of a servant

and to be obedient even to death on a cross:

give us the same mind that was in Christ Jesus,

that, sharing in his humility,

we may come to be with him in his glory;

where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.


GOSPEL for the Day: Mark 7: 31-37

31Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. 32They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. 33He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. 34Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” 35And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. 36Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. 37They were astounded beyond measure, saying, “He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”


We don’t know a lot about this deaf and mute man. Was he like this from birth? If so, the sounds he was trying to hear and articulate must have been muffled, the consonants at the ends of words lost. One translation describes him as a ‘deaf man with a severe speech impediment.’ There were no speech therapists in those days, so the important thing was to have good friends who tried to help, as this man had. And this was a very special time in the Decapolis.

I am struck with the respect Jesus had for him. He performed these rather intimate actions in private, and I’m sure in a reassuring and relational manner. Trying to keep his fame from spreading like wild-fire at this stage of his ministry? Maybe, but he couldn’t help being aware of people and responding actively, and with concern. He heard the pleading of those friends.

This succinct account of Jesus’ hearing and healing spoke to me of another matter. I began to think, and acknowledge, that I too need healing for my hearing and my speaking. I found myself praying, ‘Lord heal me when my tongue is tied, my hearing is inadequate, when I hear only what I want to hear. Heal my slowness when I am quiet, when I don’t respond quickly enough to others’ tentative indications of need. May I grow in awareness.”

He is always on the path with us...each day. He does everything well.

FINAL PRAYER Paradox Blessing

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers,

half-truths, superficial relationships,

so that you will live deep within your heart.

Celtic Daily Prayer, p 1088

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