Today’s Gospel: Mark 7:31-37
A few months after my daughter Faith arrived at home with us, I confided to my husband that, after reading this passage in Mark, I tried to perform the same miracle on her. My husband burst into laughter; when he finally regained his composure, he shared he’d done the same thing! It is not that we were trying to fix Faith’s deafness; we love her just the way she is. We accept God has a plan and purpose for her deafness, and she quite honestly seems at peace with it, evident by being one of the happiest people we know. We just realize in a hearing world, it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing for Faith to have her hearing. Although her ears were not opened with our prayers or wet fingers (ironically we both chose not to touch her tongue with our spit but instead took our chance with the ear), the lack of miracle however did not shake our faith—for reasons only God knows, this was not His will for her.
Every year we participate in the veneration of the cross during the Good Friday service. The Holy Family Parish cross, however, has something special attached to it. Our pastor has been allowed for the last four years to borrow the bishop’s relic believed to be from the actual cross Christ was crucified on. A small, round, glass-fronted brass holder containing a wood splinter nestled carefully on a red velvet bed is attached ever so carefully to the giant cross our deacon processes into the Church with. Father shared that the relic’s authenticity was confirmed by a miracle involving a person who was deaf, who upon touching this very sliver of wood, regained their hearing.
Every year we’ve watched with bated breath as Faith has approached the cross. Every year we’ve returned to our seats and discretely tested to see if she’d be the second miracle from this relic. Every year, we’ve not allowed the outcome to shake our faith. We do believe Jesus still performs miracles, and that “no” answers to prayers are still answers. We believe at the core of every answer to a prayer is our good and for reasons God alone knows. So even if her ears never open to hear the word of God audibly, we continue to teach her so that her heart will never miss a word.
How can we use the experience of receiving a “no” in response to a prayer as an opportunity to grow in trusting God’s will in all things? We should ask God for the grace to allow His “no” to move in us with the same response of gratitude that His “yes” does.
Dear Jesus, sometimes the ears of my heart are so filled with my own wants and desires they are closed to the Father’s will. Just like the deaf man had to be taken off, alone with you, to receive an answer to his prayer, Lord, help me to continue to make time every day to be with you, so I might be open to receive whatever the Father wills for me, whether that is the miracle of yes or the blessing of no.
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Allison Gingras