Today we reflect on the first of two miracle stories that are found only in Mark. The other is the healing of a blind man in Bethsaida. While the other evangelists depict Jesus as healing solely through a word in these two stories Mark depicts him employing healing technique. But Mark is also concerned with the journey of the disciples and in these two stories suggests that they were deaf and blind. Where does discipleship begin? What am I deaf (or blind) to in the gospel, in the teaching of Jesus? Do my ears need to be opened? Does my tongue need to be released? What aspects of Christian belief do I refuse to speak? How defensive am I? How taciturn? Can I say about Jesus, He has done all things welleven if scandals are rife in the Church? The challenge today is to seek ways to be open to Jesus’ loving touch, to let Jesus break the chain that keeps my tongue a prisoner of culture, to praise God.