” And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech; and they besought him to lay his hand upon him. ”
Saint Mark, whom we are reading today, is the only evangelist who relates the arrival of this sick person in such detail. Saint Matthew speaks of many sick persons in general, saying: “Great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the dumb, and many others, and they put them at his feet.” (Mt. 15:30) As for Saint Luke, he does not speak about this episode at all.
So what is Saint Mark’s intention in describing this episode in the life of the Lord? Is he not trying to help us understand, in the Holy Spirit who inspires him as he writes, the exact meaning and the significance of the miracle that will follow the one that took place on this day: the miracle of the multiplication of loaves? Certainly! For the Eucharist, of which the multiplication of loaves is a figure, is a sacrament that we can touch with our body before touching it with our soul by means of faith. So the sick person who is presented to Jesus on this day will touch Jesus; or, rather, it is Jesus who will touch the sick person in order to heal him. Indeed, when believers receive the Eucharist from the hands of the priest or deacon or ministers, they are being touched by Jesus: they receive Jesus in their body before receiving him in their soul. So Jesus touches the sick person who is brought to him to be healed: “Taking him aside from the multitude privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue.”
In order to be healed, it is not enough to enter into bodily contact with Jesus: it is also necessary for the power of God that is in Jesus to manifest itself and to really be exerted! Now, by what means is the power of God manifested and exerted? The answer is: by faith! For if Jesus heals a sick person, he does not do so as a man, but rather as God, the incarnate Son of God! And only faith allows us to think supernaturally and to say with certainty that this man, Jesus, who is similar to all other men on the outside, is not only man but also God. Therefore it is truly the faith of the sick person, as well as the faith of those who accompany him and who bring him to Jesus, that allows the omnipotence of God to manifest itself and to be exerted.
On this topic, let us recall that other healing recorded by Saint Matthew: “The blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, «Do you believe that I am able to do this?» They said to him, «Yes, Lord.» Then he touched their eyes, saying, «According to your faith be it done to you.» And their eyes were opened.” (Mt. 9:28-30)
So let us also receive, with faith, Jesus in his Eucharist. Lord I am not worthy to receive You, but only say the Word and I shall be healed. Amen.