The incident in today’s Gospel is recorded only by Mark. The key is what the crowd says at the end: “He has done all things well.” In the Greek, this echoes the creation story, recalling that God saw all the things he had done and declared them good (Genesis 1:31).
Mark also deliberately evokes Isaiah’s promise, which we hear in today’s First Reading that God will make the deaf hear and the mute speak.
He even uses a Greek word to describe the man’s condition, “mogilalon” (“speech impediment”), that’s only found in one other place in the Bible — in the Greek translation of today’s Isaiah passage, where the prophet describes the “dumb” singing.
The crowd recognizes that Jesus is doing what the prophet had foretold. But Mark wants us to see something far greater — that, to use the words from today’s First Reading: “Here is your God.”
Notice how personal and physical the drama is in the Gospel. Our focus is drawn to a hand, a finger, ears, a tongue, spitting. In Jesus, Mark shows us, God has truly come in the flesh.
What he has done is to make all things new, a new creation (Revelation 21:1-5). As Isaiah promised, he has made the living waters of baptism flow in the desert of the world.
He has set captives free from their sins, as we sing in today’s Psalm. He has come that rich and poor might dine together in the eucharistic feast, as James tells us in today’s Epistle.
He has done for each of us what he did for that deaf mute. He has opened our ears to hear the Word of God, and loosed our tongues that we might sing praises to him.
Let us then, in the Eucharist, again give thanks to our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. Let us say with Isaiah that here is our God, he comes to save us. Let us be rich in faith, that we might inherit the kingdom promised to those who love him.
Scott Hahn is founder of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, stpaulcenter.com.
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