Just a simple Ephpheta proves Christ's point.
Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost
Comprehensive Catholic Commentary
Fr. George Leo Haydock
Editor's Note: We continue with this special feature provided by John Gregory with the Haydock Commentary found at the bottom of each page of the Douay-Rheims Bible. We publish it here in conjunction with the Epistle and Gospel for the Sunday Mass, with the cogent comprehensive Catholic Commentary penned by Father George Leo Haydock. For the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost we see how St. Paul gives witness that only through the grace of God has he been able to accomplish what God has aided, elevated and cured of sin. That is the message of the Gospel indicating that the deaf and blind man represents the spiritual blindness and deafness mankind has contracted by turning from God and embracing the chaotic din of the world, the flesh and the devil which, ironically, causes spiriritual deafness and dumbness. Really dumb! Yet, with just one word from our Lord "Ephpheta" the man in the gospel is healed. So also by absolution in the Sacrament of Penance by a valid, truly ordained priest, can one's soul be similarly healed.
Epistle: 1 Corinthians 15: 1-10
1 Now I make known unto you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you have received, and wherein you stand;
2 By which also you are saved, if you hold fast after what manner I preached unto you, unless you have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all, which I also received: how that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures:
4 And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day, according to the scriptures:
5 And that He was seen by Cephas; and after that by the eleven.
6 Then He was seen by more than five hundred brethren at once: of whom many remain until this present, and some are fallen asleep.
7 After that, He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.
Commentary on Verse 7 He was seen by James. The time is not mentioned in the gospels. (Wi.)
8 And last of all, He was seen also by me, as by one born out of due time.
Commentary on Verse 8 As by one born of due out of due time; not born at the ordinary term, meaning after Christ's ascension. He calls himself so out of humility, abortives being commonly imperfect and less than others. (Wi.)
9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10 But by the grace of God, I am what I am; and His grace in me hath not been void, but I have labored more abundantly than all they: yet not I, but the grace of God with me.
Commentary on Verse 10 I have labored more abundantly. He does not say better, or that he excelled them; and even as to his labors, he gives to the honor to God: Not I, but the grace of God with me. (Wi.)
Gospel: St. Mark 7: 31-37
31 At that time, Jesus going out of the coasts of Tyre, came by Sidon to the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis.
32 And they bring to Him one deaf and dumb; and they besought Him that He would lay his hand upon him.
Commentary on Verse 32 Dumb. The Greek signifies one that speaks little, or with difficulty. (Wi.) They besought Him. In the Greek it is, they beseech Him, which agrees so well with they bring, that we have every reason to believe that this was the original reading.
33 And taking him from the multitude apart, He put his fingers into his ears, and spitting, He touched his tongue:
34 And looking up to Heaven, He groaned, and said to him: Ephpheta, which is, Be thou opened.
Commentary on Verse 34 Ephpheta, a Syriac word. Jesus Christ, in the cure of this man, uses many and various actions; but as of their own nature they are no ways equal to such a cure, they show: first, that the cure was miraculous; and secondly, the virtue, which His divinity communicated to His sacred body.(V.) We must not suppose that our Savior here groaned on account of any difficulty He experienced in working this miracle, but only from commiseration for the man, whom He was about to heal; as likewise to show, how very difficult is the cure of those who are spiritually deaf and dumb by sin. He was affected in a similar manner when He raised Lazarus to life, to show with what difficulty a man, dead and buried in sin by evil habits, can arise from that miserable state. (Dion Carth.)
35 And immediately his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke right.
36 And He charged them that they should tell no man. But the more He charged them, so much the more a great deal did they publish it.
37 And so much the more did they wonder, saying: He hath done all things well; He hath made both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.