The people of God were exiled and returning from Babylon across many miles of desert back towards their promised land. There was fear in their hearts as they have to face their enemies and also the natural threat of the land. In Isaiah 35: 4-7 “Thus says the LORD: Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication; with divine recompense he comes to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing. Streams will burst forth in the desert, and rivers in the steppe. The burning sands will become pools, and the thirsty ground, springs of water.”
Although we live in a different time than Isaiah’s, we are witnessing a world encountering a time of crisis. There is a virus spreading across the world without regards to borders, race, socio-economic or political status. Mankind is having difficulty understanding and containing a tiny virus which is 0.1 micrometer in size, so small you cannot see it. The governance and management of this virus fail to alleviate anxiety and fear. The situation is devastating health, economy, family unity, and creating social distrust. The Lord’s words meant for the people in Isaiah’s time are also meant for us at our present time. It is with faith that we will experience the promise of the Lord. Be strong spiritually and fear not. He is here and he will save us. He will open our spiritual eyes to see his works. We will be given strength to live our life and not stay lame with helplessness. We will be joyous and not be dumb with fear. God will provide us with what is necessary to meet our needs.
Fast forward about 750 years from Isaiah’s to Jesus’ time, and we see the people bringing him a deaf man with a speech defect. They begged Jesus to lay his hand on him for healing. Mark 7:33- 35, “He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, ‘Ephphatha!’ – that is, ‘Be opened!’ And immediately the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly.”
What a sight it must have been. Away from the crowd, Jesus puts his finger into the man’s ears, spitting and touching his tongue to heal the man. It is a strange, yet a very personal way to heal the man. It is important to note that Jesus looked up to heaven and groaned before he commanded the man to be healed. This shows us Jesus turning to prayers and looking to God the Father in heaven as the source of his power for healing. This is a powerful symbol of the communion between Jesus and his Father.
Just as in the time of Isaiah when God promised his people that he will be there in their times of need, Jesus shows us that he is fulfilling what God has promised. He also teaches us to turn to prayers to plead for God’s help. Jesus God never fails to answer our needs. This is an opportune time for us to repent and mend our ways. Turn to Jesus our Savior. Pray. He with God the Father and the Holy Spirit will cure the ills of the world. Have faith, Jesus will personally answer your needs.
God bless, and may His Holy Spirit be with each of you,
Diaconate Candidate 2024