Christ Healing a Deaf Man,
Gravure par Léonard Gaultier (1561-1641),
Published in 1579
Engraving on wove paper,
National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Christ Healing a Deaf Man,
Gravure par Léonard Gaultier (1561-1641),
Published in 1579
Engraving on wove paper,
National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Gospel of 12 février 2021

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Marc 7:31-37

Returning from the district of Tyre, Jesus went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, right through the Decapolis region. And they brought him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they asked him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, put his fingers into the man's ears and touched his tongue with spittle. Then looking up to heaven he sighed; and he said to him, 'Ephphatha', that is, 'Be opened.' And his ears were opened, and the ligament of his tongue was loosened and he spoke clearly. And Jesus ordered them to tell no one about it, but the more he insisted, the more widely they published it. Their admiration was unbounded. 'He has done all things well,' they said 'he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.'

Réflexion sur la gravure

When writing these daily reflections, it is always tempting to immediately 'spiritualise' the miracles that Jesus worked. Yes, of course that is an important aspect when reading the gospels, but we should not forget that these miracles, such as today's miracle of healing the deaf man, actually happened and that a physical healing took place. God cares for our souls, but He also cares about our bodies and physical welfare. Our bodies are given to us to do God's work. As Christians taking care of our bodies is therefore taking care of the place where the Holy Spirit dwells. 

We read today, 'Ephphatha', that is, 'Be opened.'  Today's gospel is a story about one who was closed but is now open, one who was deaf but now hears. It is more about our heart than it is about our ears. Jesus didn't say "Now hear!" No, He said 'Be opened.' The cure for our deafness is not to hear but to be open. We have to be open first before we can hear. 

Our French print by Léonard Gaultier, published in 1579, shows the moment when Jesus is putting his fingers in the deaf man's ears. Gaultier was very prolific, producing over eight hundred different prints. We see the Sea of Galilee in the distance. That day not only the ears of the deaf man were opened, but also his heart, his mouth, his mind… his whole life opened up. 

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