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.’
Gospel for 23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time
Disability comes in many forms.
One of the great things that has come from the movements to end discrimination against ‘disabled’ people, and to help/ensure that their voice is heard and respected across society is that we are helped to recognise that very often people are not disabled, but truly are simply differently-abled.
The limitations many people come up against that are most hard to bear, and that indeed are a handicap, are not the ones that ‘nature’ imposes but society and (some of) its members.
Jesus does all things well.
- What do you do well?
- What do you do not so well?
- Where would you value the help of Jesus?
Jesus heals. Carolingian ivory carving in collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. (c) 2007, Allen Morris