FIRST READING
“You will be like God, knowing good and evil. ”
A reading from the Book of Genesis (Genesis 3: 1-8)

The serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.”’ But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruits and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 32:1-2.5.6.7 (R. 1a)
R/. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven.

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is remitted.
Blessed the man to whom the Lord imputes no guilt,
In whose spirit is no guile. R.

To you I have acknowledge my sin;
My guilt I did not hide.
I said, “I will confess my transgression to the Lord.”
And you have forgiven the guilt of my sin. R.

R/. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven.

So let each faithful one pray to you
In the time of need.
The floods of water may reach high,
But such a one they shall not reach. R.

You are a hiding place for me;
You keep me safe from distress;
You surround me with cries of deliverance. R.

ALLELUIA Acts 16: 14b
Alleluia. Open our hearts, O Lord, that we may give heed to the words of your Son. Alleluia.

GOSPEL
“He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak. ”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 7:31-37)

At that time: Jesus returned from the region of Tyre, and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, through the region of the Decapolis. And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand upon him. And taking him aside from the multitude privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue; and looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. And he charged them to tell no one; but the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well; he even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection
The awesomeness of Jesus’ ministry continues to attract attention. He extends his hand of fellowship and help to people outside Jewish territory. He was in Tyre and Sidon where he delivered the syrophoenician woman’s daughter of her demonic possession. Now, he goes to the Decapolis, meaning ‘ten cities’ where he met a deaf and mute man. The people asked Jesus to ‘lay his hand upon him’, that is the traditional way of invoking the power of God. Jesus, nonetheless, took the man aside, “put his fingers into the man’s ears and touched his tongue with spittle, then, looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, ‘Be opened’. The dumb man’s ears were opened and his tongue was loosened and he began to speak clearly. Joyously, the people spread the news, even when Jesus forbade them. The fact is that it is difficult to withhold good news. And the lesson is that we cannot stereotype God. His ways are not our ways.

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