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.

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    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.

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