😎🐫🎤 Christ’s peace be with you. You may be familiar with the Gospel of Mark 7:31-37 in which a group of people brough a deaf man with a speech impediment to Jesus and begged Him to lay His hand on the deaf man, so that he may be cured. What’s interesting to me in this account is not just that the man was healed, as many others had been, but how he was healed. I imagine most of us have heard at some time or another, “God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason. You need to listen more and speak less.” In this Gospel account, Jesus first cured the man’s hearing, so that his speech impediment could be cured.
I was sitting next to my Mom and Dad at Mass Sunday when this Gospel was read. It was a pretty special day for them, as they were celebrating their 57th wedding anniversary. I believe this was a perfect passage to celebrate their anniversary with. You may think that an odd statement, but relationships can’t survive if we don’t listen and more importantly hear the heart of the person speaking with us. They’ve certainly experienced miscommunication along the way, as I would say everyone of us has in our relationships. Just this weekend, Brian and I we trying to figure out a solution to a situation. I presented my thought and Brian presented his. It can be amazing and frustrating at the same time. We were essentially presenting the same idea, but using different terminology. It wasn’t until Brian drew it out, that we realized how similar our ideas were. Too often we get lost in the words being used and miss the heart of what’s being said.
The same can be true when it comes to seeking or even just trying to discern a relationship with Christ. How many of you have been put off at some point by someone that you considered to be a “religious” person. Maybe you felt attacked by what was said. Maybe disappointed because you expected more from a “religious” person. Or, maybe the thought crossed your mind that if this person you looked up to “failed” in your eyes, that there’s no way you could do good.
First of all, our God is an incredibly forgiving God, who showers us with more grace than we will ever know. Second, He’s a Friend who so very generously doesn’t focus on the words we speak, but listens to our hearts. As the deaf man in the Gospel, we need to allow Jesus to open our ears, so that we can clearly hear, so that we can in turn clearly, courageously, and confidently speak with the wisdom that only He can provide. He has placed His Spirit within you, so that 1) You will never be alone and 2) you will be able to speak His words with those He has placed before you. Sometimes you may fumble through your words and other times they flow eloquently. Either way, if they are words God is prompting you to speak, no matter how they sound to you, the person that the message was meant for is hearing the voice and words of God. It makes me smile and at times brings tears to my eyes when I realized someone is relaying a message to me from God. Keep your ears open, that you may clearly hear what He desires you to know.
Mom and Dad, thank you for being a great example of a relationship based in trust in our Lord.
Bless others and be blessed.
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#BrandonHeath – Jesus in Disguise