Geography matters in today’s Gospel. Jesus is preaching in “the district of the Decapolis,” 10 Greek cities. So it is Greeks who bring Jesus a deaf man to heal. And in the preceding healing, not read in this B cycle of readings, Jesus healed a Syrophoenician woman’s daughter. It seems the evangelist Mark is teaching his readers that Jesus intends the good news to be for everyone, not just for his own Jewish people. In these present times we, and other nations, are struggling to be more inclusive, to share our good things with people who are not “our own.” Undoubtedly it was very difficult for Jewish converts to Christianity to see all “those gentiles” coming into the early communities of Jewish Christians. It probably is just human, just a very human, self-protective defense, to see outsiders as threats. “Ephphatha” Jesus cried, “be open,” as he healed the Greek man. We call on the spiritual strength of our faith to open our eyes and ears to see and hear better the “other” we meet — the people different from us but who are also just like us, saved by the precious blood of the Lord.
– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia