We’ve already seen the healing power of Christ the Light when He journeyed to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, in the land of Gennesaret. There the people brought out all the many sick they could find, and He healed them; today He visits a region of ten cities and they bring a single man, both deaf and mute. We might think that they are testing Jesus to see just how powerful He is. As the end of our Gospel says, “they were exceedingly astonished.”
Jesus is the Light of the World; Jesus is also the Word of God. Recall the beginning of John’s Gospel which tells us:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:1-5)
The Word of God is alive; the Word of God is God and is the light of the human race. What happens to a deaf man when the Word speaks to Him? His soul is stirred at the sound of a voice his body cannot hear, and he is opened. What happens to a mute man when the Word speaks? He finds his own voice.
“In the beginning,” Genesis begins, “when God created the heavens and the earth—and the earth was without form or shape, with darkness over the abyss and a mighty wind sweeping over the waters—Then God said: Let there be light, and there was light.” (Genesis 1:1-3) There was a shapeless void; there was nothing. God speaks a Word and from nothing, from darkness, came light. Christ the Light, the Living Word, says, “Be opened!” and the deaf man hears; the mute man speaks. Where there was no hearing and no speaking, there is now both. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
In the Baptismal Rite for Children, after the baptism itself, the anointing with Chrism, and the reception of the white garment, the baptismal candle is given as the presider says, “Receive the light of Christ…Parents and godparents, this light is entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly.
This child of yours has been enlightened by Christ. He is to walk always as a child of the light.
May he keep the flame of faith alive in his heart. When the Lord comes, may he go out to meet him with all the saints in the heavenly kingdom.”
Following this the presider touches the ears and mouth of the child, saying, “The Lord Jesus made the deaf hear and the dumb speak. May he soon touch your ears to receive his word, and your mouth to proclaim his faith, to the praise and glory of God the Father.” Nearly all of us have had these prayer prayed over us; let us keep to these promises and live as children of the Light, as hearers of the Word, proclaiming Him in all we do.