Faith Comes from Hearing
A man who was deaf and therefore also had an impediment in his speech was brought to Jesus (Mark 7:31–37). In the same way, all are by nature deaf toward God and therefore also unable to confess the faith rightly. For “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:9–17). Jesus put His fingers into the man’s ears, and He spat and touched His tongue. Even so in Holy Baptism, water sanctified by the words of Jesus’ mouth is applied to us; and the finger of God, that is, the life–giving Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 3:4–11) is put into our ears in the hearing of the baptismal Gospel. Jesus’ sighing “Ephphatha” opened the man’s ears, and his tongue was loosed to speak plainly as Isaiah prophesied of the Messiah, “In that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book” (Is. 29:18–24) So also, He who sighed and breathed His last on the cross for us has given us to hear and believe in Him and has opened our lips that our mouths may declare His praise.
First Reading: Isaiah 29:17-24
Second Reading: 2 Cor. 3:4-11
Gospel: Mark 7:31-37
Almighty and merciful God, by Your gift alone Your faithful people render true and laudable service. Help us steadfastly to live in this life according to Your promises and finally attain Your heavenly glory; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Make haste, O God, to de- | liver me!*
Make haste to help | me, O LORD!
Let them be ashamed and con- | founded*
who | seek my life. (Psalm 70:1-2)
Let them be turned back | and confused*
who de- | sire my hurt.
Let all those who seek | You rejoice*
and be | glad in You.
But I am poor and | needy;*
make haste to | me, O God!
You are my help and my de- | liverer;*
O LORD, do | not delay. (Psalm 70:2, 4, 5)
I will bless the LORD / at all times;*
His praise shall continually be / in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast / in the LORD;*
the humble shall hear of it / and be glad. (Psalm 34:1–2)
Sing aloud to / God our strength;*
make a joyful shout to the God of Jacob. Alle- / luia. (Psalm 81:1)