Gospel Reading: Mark 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, “Ephphata”, 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 on one about, it, but the more he insisted, the more widely they published it. 37Their admiration was unbounded. “He has done all things well, “they said; “he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak”
Simple summary of Lectio steps with gospel passage.
We read the gospel several times to become familiar with the past event described therein. Where it took place? Why did it happen? Who was involved. Having listened to the passage and its context, we now move into meditation where we allow the passage to remind us of similar events, happenings, encounters in our own life-experience. Having recognised the passage in life today we are moved to prayer of thanksgiving or repentance expressed in our own words interlaced with words of the passage where possible.
Guidelines: (PREPARED BY VOLUNTEERS FROM THE LECTIO PROJECT)
1 “Be opened” Let the passage remind you of a time in your life when someone made it possible for you to “open up”. Perhaps this was to see things in a new way, to be more accepting of others, or to help you move on from past hurts. As in the passage maybe this happened in a quiet and private way and you have never acknowledged the help given to you. Give thanks for all the people in our homes, workplaces and communities who do listen and give us the opportunity to” be open”. Thank God for the volunteers in agencies such as PIPS, Samaritans & Childline who are always there with a listening ear.
2” He makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak”. Does this passage remind you of a time when you chose to turn a deaf ear to a situation in your family, community, worldwide e.g. the migrant crisis, homelessness? Was there a time you chose to remain silent, when it would have been better to speak out? Take time to ask Jesus for the strength to speak clearly on the behalf of all of those who need our help.
3 Remember a time when we were deeply moved by the affliction and isolation of others and our hearts were moved to protect the individual from humiliation – “taking them aside in private away from the crowd”. A time when we gave of ourselves physically and emotionally to others – putting our fingers in the ears and spittle on the tongue- seeking to reassure, comfort and restore a sense of dignity, hope and value.
4“Their admiration was unbounded” Can you remember a time when someone you know did something “wonderful”, for example a child finally mastering a new skill, someone achieving an award against great odds? Can you remember being filled with admiration and wanting to share the news – you could not keep it to yourself. This is how the disciples felt in the passage. They were bursting to share the good news about Jesus with others. It is our responsibility also to spread the word about Jesus who has “done all things well.”