Sunday, September 6

     We read in the Gospel that Jesus cured a deaf and dumb man, and Jesus responded by curing him.  The account of this healing continues Mark's intentional presentation of miracle after miracle.  As the powers of Jesus overwhelm the variety of evils human beings so often confront, one cannot help but long for an unending use of these powers.  Indeed, the praise Jesus receives (he has done all things well, he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak) are OT words meant to underline that it is here with this person Jesus that the OT hopes for the world in anguish can find health and peace. 

    Jesus' response uniformly downplays his powers.  It is apparent that miracles are not the focus of his life.  His words reveal what he really thinks the world needs, and that is repentance.  He may hide from doing miracles, but he never hides his urging that we repent, that we prepare ourselves so as to live with and in God forever.

    Moreover, though curing a person represents a perfection of the person, a saving from evil, the greatest of evils will not be overcome except by death on the cross, or better, by the obedience that brought Jesus to the end of his life.  He never lost sight of his Father in this matter, but trusted His will for him right to the end.  Turning away from miracle on his own behalf, Jesus offered us his obedience as the one thing necessary for a salvation we could never merit, and as the example of how we, too, will reach our destiny with God. 

    Who would not be amazed at the power of Jesus, and who would not praise and fear it.  But he asks back: who will obey my Father in absolute trust.  That is the one miracle which he will never shy from using all his powers to effect.

John Kilgallen, S.J.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

In this Feb. 13, 2013 file photo, Chris Cornell of Soundgarden performs during the band's concert at the Wiltern in Los Angeles (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
So many of Cornell’s songs are filled with Christological and sacramental imagery.
Community, sacrament and Scripture: by means of these three mysteries Christ and his church would defy time.
Terrance KleinMay 24, 2017
Pope Francis poses with U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, during a private audience at the Vatican May 24. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-TRUMP-MEET May 24, 2017.
How are church leaders and Vatican watchers responding to the highly anticipated visit?
The EditorsMay 24, 2017
Photo via Starz
What type of god would force us to believe? Can we even be forced to believe?
Wyatt MasseyMay 24, 2017