Daily Reflection
February 9th, 2001
Tom Schloemer, S.J.
Career and Academic Planning
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Genesis 3:1-8
Psalms 32:1-2, 5, 6, 7
Mark 7:31-37

Helen Keller, who was both blind and deaf, was once asked:  If you had a choice of being blind or deaf, which would you choose?  She replied that she would prefer to be blind because deafness makes communication so difficult.  The healing by Jesus in today’s Gospel reading of the deaf man with a speech impediment points up the necessity of physical hearing for proper response and expression.

What about my spiritual hearing?  Is it selective?  Do my spiritual ears perk up when a situation is to my liking, especially when I can be in the spotlight?  Do challenges, hidden tasks, spiritual “grunt work” fall upon deaf spiritual ears?

What is responsible for such selectivity in my spiritual hearing?  It is often a case of certain attitudes, namely, my own prejudices and pre-conceived notions which result in set agendas.  The foundation of harmful attitudes is invariably fear, usually fear of failure or of not looking good.  Fear prevents opportunities in our lives.  What if the friends of the deaf man had not begged for a cure because they thought the Pharisees and Scribes were against Jesus, because they were not absolutely sure about Jesus, and so forth?

It would seem that openness and willingness to take a chance comprise the best cure for spiritual deafness.  The Lord usually speaks most loudly and plainly in the trials and difficulties of my life.  Am I listening?  Jesus was never too busy for people.  His healing touch is also available to me if, like the friends of the deaf-mute, I only ask.

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