Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Little Something Extra...Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus Groaned

In today's Gospel, Mark 7:31-37, Jesus healed a deaf man who could not speak. First, he took the man apart from the crowd. He then put His finger in the man's ears and, spitting, touched his tongue. He looked up to Heaven, groaned, and commanded, “Ephphatha!” or “Be opened!”

The deaf man could immediately hear and speak.

This was a very physical healing. Jesus touched the man's ears. He applied His own saliva to the man's tongue. He appealed to His Father with a look and a groan, and He spoke a direct command.

Jesus had taken or would take all of these actions in previous or future healings except for the groaning, which is unique to this incident.

The Greek verb for groan here is stenaz┼Ź, which means to groan or sigh in distress. Jesus was in distress. He felt this deaf man's pain and isolation. He hurt along with him. He knew the man's longings, his hopes, his deepest needs. He understood all of it. And all those emotions came flowing out in a groan to the Heavens.

Jesus was, and is, both God and man. He understands us completely, more than we can ever know. He knows our every thought, our every feeling, our every desire, our every need. And He loves us totally, more than we can ever comprehend.

Jesus groaned when He healed the deaf man, for He had entered into the man's condition, and in His great love, He transformed his entire life in a few moments.

Allow Him to transform your life this week.

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