07.07.2020 — Responding to openness

14th Week in Ord. Time, Tuesday – 7th July 2020 — Gospel: Mt 9,32-38

Responding to openness

The final healing (9,32-34) in this miracle section (chs. 8 & 9) is an exorcism that leads to a cure. The root cause of man’s muteness is due to his demon possession. When Jesus casts out the demons then the man speaks. It is interesting to note in this account two opposite reactions to this healing. On the one hand, the crowds are amazed at the healing and consider it unprecedented in Israel. These simple people manifested great admiration in the extraordinary power of the divine. On the other hand, the religious leaders could not deny the reality of these miraculous events, so they attributed his power to lower source. In fact, they rejected Jesus and his power because He violated their traditions. This divided response of wonder and hostility to Jesus continues throughout the gospel. Jesus condemns the attitude of the Pharisees as “unpardonable sin” (Mt 12,22 ff), which is nothing but the continual rejection of faith in Him.  They are so blind to their preconceived notions, that they are unable to see God’s kingdom manifested in Jesus’ authoritative words and actions. Instead Jesus looks to the crowds, who are humble and open to his teaching and healing. This strengthens him to go ahead in fulfilling His Father’s mission amidst hurdles in his ministry of teaching, preaching and healing (9,35).