Thankfully none of us here know what it’s like to be totally deaf, at least not yet. Today’s readings show us both the tragedy of deafness and the miracle of healing. And the worst kind of deafness is not necessarily being physically unable to hear.
Solomon and his family had no problem hearing the seductive voices calling them to worship false gods, and yet they were stone deaf to the voice of God speaking through his prophets. As a result the kingdom of Israel was divided into two warring factions, never again to be what God intended it to be. And all because Solomon would not hear the word of God.
Our Lord healed the deaf man because God intends all his children to hear, respond to and act on the divine word. And yet, trying to avoid a public demonstration, Our Lord asks those around him to exercise discretion. But this has precisely the opposite effect, and the first century counterparts of the paparazzi come running.
Our own hearing may not be what it once was, but if our hearts and minds are open to God, then we will always be able to hear the Word. And, unlike the once wise Solomon, the kingdom planted in our hearts will never be divided so long as we are loyal to and listen to the Divine Word.