When we were still a baby we learned to speak by simply imitating the words we heard from our parents and other persons surrounding us, but what if we did not hear anything? Surely no words would come out from us. Our tongue would taste only the food we ate but we could not express what it was.
This is the case of a man or woman who could not hear anything since birth; there are no words that he or she could express. That is why being deaf and mute are inseparable case. Once we are in the situation of a hearing and speech impediment, we are like an exile from the community of normal people.
We need the help of someone who could touch us so that we could experience healing. A person would be healed if there is love, acceptance, care, and concern. But only through God’s grace it is possible. This is the message of the readings tries to convey to us.
The prophet Isaiah on his second book is exhorting the people of Israel not to be frightened but be courageous for God would surely bring them back to their own land. This journey-home to their original place is considered as their marvelous healing. Through God’s saving grace, the Israelites will be restored.
The second reading from the letter of St. James is reminding his community that the gift of Faith in Jesus Christ helps the person to see Christ in others. He admonishes everyone to avoid discrimination by means of favoritism. This is one way of sending into exile persons most especially the poor ones. This should not happen because Faith in Jesus Christ does not allow favoritism and exclusion of others. Faith in Jesus does not send the poor into exile. The God who brought back the Israelites and freed them from captivity is the same God who loves everyone through His Son Jesus Christ.
In the Gospel we see how Jesus Christ cured a deaf man who had speech impediment. He cured him not only physically but also spiritually. The man who had been cured was exiled for a long time because of his physical disability. But here comes a Messiah; a truly Human and truly Son of God who could end the exile of a man suffering from discrimination from society by saying “Ephphatha” or “Be opened” and immediately his health had been restored. The health restoration led him go back to his natural community - a community that could communicate.
The miracle is truly God’s saving action. We could continue this miracle if we let ourselves become instruments of God in bringing back home those marginalized in our society; the poor, the needy, the disabled, the oppressed, the victims of injustice and many more people who need the healing touch of Jesus Christ.