The lady protagonist in the Netflix series Homeland appears to be stubborn and “deaf” to the realities of the world. While being a spy allows her to know certain aspects in their operations unknown to the rest of the world, because of her bipolar disability and affection for the Marine-turned-suspected terrorist; she is portrayed to be hard-headed, blinded to the truth, and never listens to reason. Her character in the series often elicits reaction and catches the viewer’s frustration.
The readings for this Sunday show us God’s love and concern for the disabled in our communities. Do we share in His concern for them?
In the Gospel, Jesus healed the deaf man with a speech impediment and ordered the people around not to tell anyone. But the more He ordered them not to, the more they proclaimed it. They were exceedingly astonished and they said, “He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.” (Mk. 7: 31-37)
In the First Reading, the Prophet Isaiah presents God as one who comes with vindication, with divine recompense, and He comes to save. 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.” (Is. 35: 4-7a) For Isaiah, the “deaf” was the people of Israel. The deaf person is unable to hear what is being said to him and, therefore, cannot even communicate what he did not hear; he lives in isolation, alone in his own world. While this is an image of someone who has never had the opportunity to meet and listen to the Gospel of Jesus, it is also one who refuses to open his ears and not allows the word of salvation to penetrate his heart.
In reality, we all have disabilities in one way or the other. There are times that we ignore those who are poor while we give attention to those who are rich and influential in society. We look at how they appear on the surface while ignoring their gifts and talents, yes, we can have eyes that see and still be blind. We can be judgmental.
Yet God looks at a person differently. He sees all the goodness in a person’s being, and yet, people make judgments about others as if they’re like God. They rush into making conclusion while failing to understand why others are like what they are. Only God has the ability to see and look at a person deeply and yet people judge others easily as if they know exactly the circumstances people are in. As if they’re God!
Today, so that you can receive this healing, it is important that you slow down and stop reacting immediately to what’s happening around. You need to take time to prayerfully pause for wisdom and discernment. This is why Jesus gave us His Holy Spirit, so that God’s Spirit will aid us in interpreting, and instead of reacting, we will act the way the Lord wants us to. Thus, we will act with faith and compassion; we will be tuned in to God’s will in our life.
In this fractured world, let us pray that the Lord opens the ears and loosens the tongue even in our families, in the Church communities that we go into, in the social settings where people often insist on their own issues more than listening to others. We pray that Jesus open the eyes of those that want to be blind, and ears that open to hear the words of everlasting life.
‘Jesus proclaimed the Gospel of the Kingdom and cured every disease among the people.’ (Mt.4: 23)