Thu, 14 February 2019
(Gn.3:1-8; Ps.32:1-2,5-7; Mk.7:31-37)
“The eyes of both of them were opened,
and they realized that they were naked.”
How different this opening of the eyes of Adam and Eve is from the opening of the deaf man’s ears in our gospel; for our first parents’ eyes were opened unto blindness, but the deaf mute’s ears and tongue only to light.
Why this difference? Why such contrast in the freeing of the senses to receive their signals? Why is one evil and the other good? The opening of the eyes of the man and the woman brings their downfall because they are not prepared for what they see. They seek to be “like gods who know what is good and what is bad,” but they have not the skins to hold such wine of wisdom. And so they burst. And so they died before the glorious light suddenly before them… and so “the man and his wife hid themselves from the Lord God among the trees of the garden,” for they could not show their faces of dust before His Face of Majesty. (Indeed, the woman first erred when she “answered the serpent,” when she responded to his enticement, not realizing she was no match for his “cunning”… much as she failed to understand she is no match for God’s wisdom.)
On the other hand, the opening of the deaf man’s ears and the loosing of his tongue is prepared by Jesus Christ, He in whose presence we are able to see light itself, He who provides the new wineskins for our becoming like God, enabling us to stand before the wonder of His Holy Face. Notice how “Jesus took him off by himself away from the crowd” before healing the deaf-mute; see how this contrasts with Adam and Eve’s hiding from God. Where they would avoid the glance of the Lord, Jesus brings the man closer to Him by drawing him away from the crowds; and there, more perfectly in His presence, He heals him. And the man is healed, of course, because he himself does not hide: he is brought openly by his friends to Jesus. In this way he “acknowledged [his] sin” before God; his “guilt [he] covered not” (as the man and woman covered their nakedness with fig leaves). No, in his “spirit there is no guile,” and so his “fault is taken away”; and so, paradoxically, he who “confess[es] his sin to the Lord,” as the humble King David, finds that by the Lord his “sin is covered” – he is forgiven.
Brothers and sisters, let us learn to open our tattered souls to our Lord and God, never to hide; for to hide is hell and the Lord calls us to Him in the light of heaven. And He will prepare our eyes to see, and He will make our ears ready to hear, and our tongues shall be loosed to praise His name and exclaim our amazement at His grace… for we shall be released from the blindness of sin and be as His Son, who alone can answer the devil.
O LORD, let us hear your voice calling us
to confess our sins and return to you this day.
YHWH, how terrible it is when we transgress your Word, when we rebel against your loving will! We are blinded by our sin even as our eyes are opened to our weakness… and so we hide from your glory, which we cannot contain.
We have bodies, LORD. You have made us so. We are not like you, pure Spirit and perfect Light. And how weak our bodies can be when we lack your secure protection, when we lose your presence with us by our failing to love you. Who can save us from such travail? Who can open our ears again to hear and heed your holy Word?
O LORD, as we confess our faults to you, as we come before your Son to seek His healing – He who comes to show us that we are like you (for He is like you and we like Him), He who would restore us to our place as your children, blessed to be in your image… then our nakedness is covered; it is taken away as we reveal our weakness before you. Let us listen only to you!