By Fr. Felix (African Times Guest Writer)
A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark (7:31-37).
The roundabout route taken by Jesus from Sidon to the Lake via the
Decapolis is often used to claim that the evangelist Mark did not
himself know the Holy Land. On the other hand the reliability of the
tradition behind the story is confirmed by the Aramaic word
‘Ephphatha’. The gospel tradition received its present form in Greek-
speaking lands, which makes it all the more remarkable that there
remain such nuggets of Jesus’ own language.
Jesus’ activity as he goes around ‘doing all things well’ is the
coming of God into the world, the Day of the Lord when the tongues of
the dumb will sing for joy. Jesus is the sacrament of God. In him God
is active in the world, bringing peace, healing and joy. In him people
met and experienced God. His gestures of putting his fingers into the
man’s ears and touching his tongue with spittle are affectionate ways
of showing that God is physically at work in him. In a modern hygiene-
conscious world such gestures might be frowned upon. But if we are
truly acting as the members of Christ’s body in the world we cannot
hold back, and from time to time will be involved physically and
totally in helping others. We too can bring Christ’s healing in
countless simple, but often costly and courageous, ways.