Reflection on Mark 7: 31-37
Another one of Jesus’ miracles and one that we have heard many times in our lives. . . . He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.
But is it a miracle? Maybe we need to understand what a miracle is. What’s your definition?
Most definitions center on an extraordinary event – some thing so uncommon that people stop and stare . . . something that seems to be out of the natural order of things.
Well, I guess I would accept those definitions but I would also add that in every miracle we see and sense the hand of God. We realize that what we have seen or heard or read about is so extraordinary that only the Lord could have done it.
And yet I would add that each of us needs a daily dose of miracles in our lives especially as it applies to our senses – particularly our ears and our mouths. Because I believe that all of us, in our lives, have, on occasion, been deaf to the word of the Lord. All of us, at times, tune God out because it’s too inconvenient or it goes against what we wanted to do. So it’s jut like a giant remote with a mute button. If we don’t want to hear God all we have to do is turn off the volume.
We simply do not spend enough time listening for the presence of God in our lives. Yet our faith teaches us that God is a constant presence in our lives. Since we believe it then why do we tune him out? You and I could come up with a hundred different reasons, But let me tell you what I think happens. I think that each of us is engaged in a daily combat. I believe that our humanity, which we know is flawed, fights the eternal presence of God. Sometimes the darker side of our humanity takes over and God is pushed off to a corner. When that happened, we subconsciously become conflicted because we just don’t feel “right” about what we just did. And that little niggling at our conscience is the presence of God reminding us that he is there to help us, to forgive us, to love us.
What we need to do is sharpen our listening devices. We do that by finding time in our day to be alone with God. Instead of a nap, perhaps we use that time to be still and find God’s presence in our life. Maybe we dedicate early morning to be a time with God. We don’t necessarily have to pray, the key is that we remain still and ask God to manifest himself in our lives
By manifest, I am referring not to the extraordinary miracle of actually seeing Christ but rather feeling Him in the quiet. There are days when we may not hear him or feel his presence. But that’s OK because what is important is that we made the time for him.
You and I know those times when the sounds from our mouth should be muted – muted in the sense that they do not belong to God.
You know, it’s the times when we utter unkind words – or the times when we blaspheme – or get so involved in a political argument that we allow negativity and unfairness to take the place of civility and fairness. Every time that happens – and a hundred more like that – our voices are muted to God.
You and I know the standard to which we are called. We are called to be Christ like in all that we do. We are called to be Christ like in our thoughts, our words and our actions. Once again, it’s the struggle between the baseness of our lives and the presence of God. When our thoughts, words and action betray God, he remains silent and no longer do the words from our mouth glorify him. That’s when we need a miracle.
And we can be touched by a miracle. We can ask God to align the three manifestations of our lives – to give us a pure heart and a clear mind; to allow to speak only words that are kind in spirit and encouraging in their effect; to allow our deeds to glorify him. When all those things happen, we are not only spiritually aligned but we are aligned with Christ.
Each year, I have the opportunity of doing a silent retreat at a beautiful retreat house in Gloucester. From the moment, we meet our retreat master; each of us is in silence broken only by thirty minutes a day with our spiritual director.
It’s amazing what that silence can bring – I have discovered that when you are constantly busy, your mind is in Drive. But when you slow down, your mind eventually runs out of the busy gas and gradually drifts to God.
I know that each of you may not be able to do a retreat but you can have a mini retreat every day. You can take that time we discussed earlier and be still with God and when we do that, we can have our own miracle as we pray Him to keep all that we do and say in glory to Him.