After a brief stay, Jesus left the district of Tyre, went on to Sidon, then traeled east, circled the upper shores of the Lake of Galilee, and descended into the Decapolis. Here great crowds came to see Him. They brought their sick and afflicated with them and Jesus cured them.
Among those who were brought to Him was a deaf-mute. Jesus took the man aside, put His fingers into his ears, and having spat, touched the silent tongue. Then, looking up to heave, He said:
“Ephpheta” (Be thou opened).
At once the former deaf-mute was able to hear and speak clearly. Jesus told the people to tell no one what they had witnessed, but they could not refrain from publishing the marvel. “He had done all things well,” they said. “He has made both the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak.”
At this time Jesus repeated a miracle which He had performed a few months before near Bethsaida-Julias. Withdrawing from the multitude to whom He had been speak, He assembled the disciples and said:
“I have compassion on the crowd, for they have now been with Me three days, and nothing to eat; and I am unwilling to send them away fasting, lest they faint on the way.”
As on a previous occasion, the disciples protested that they could do nothing. “Where then are we to get, in a desert, enough loaves to satisfy so great a crowd?”
He asked them:
“How many loaves have you?”
“Seven,” they answered, “and a few little fishes.”
Jesus then had the crowd recline on the ground. Taking the loaves and the fishes, He gave thanks, divided them, and gave the portions to His disciples, who distributed them to the people.
Beside the women and children, there were about four thousand me present. Yet all ate and were satisfied, and afterwards they filled seven baskets with the fragments of the repast.
Meditation: Our Lord’s principal concern was the souls of mean. But He was not indifferent to their bodily needs. Twice He miraculously multiplied a small amount of food so that a multitude could eat. Let that example warn us against thinking that we can dispense ourselves from all concern for man’s bodily needs. It is not enough to pray for the poor and hungry. When did I last come to the assistance of someone less fortunate than myself?
Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today” The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959. 105-106. © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953. Print. Drawing by Albert H Winkler.