The Gospel passage for this week is the account of Jesus healing the deaf-mute as recorded in Mark’s Gospel.  This is a wonderful story because it enables us to get to the very heart of God.  Of course, there is the remarkable miracle of the man being healed but there is something else in this passage which could easily go unnoticed.  The writer includes the words “Jesus took him (the deaf-mute) off alone.”  Why?  Before any supernatural healing was to take place, Jesus shows his deep compassion by directly addressing the emotional well-being of the person involved.  His deafness and speech impediment would have been an acute embarrassment to the man in a society which believed that illness was linked to sin.  Further, the man may not have known who Jesus was, and may have been confused and anxious about what was happening to him.  Knowing all of this, Jesus took the man off alone and then took the trouble to explain to him what He was going to do to him.  Obviously, Jesus couldn’t use words because the man could not hear, so Jesus acts it out for him.  Jesus spat on his hands, indicating the healing process and then touches the man’s ears and tongue.  In this way, Jesus was explaining that he was going to heal him and heal his deafness and speech impediment.  After all of this, Jesus then cries out to heaven for healing for this man – and he is healed.  Note however, before the miracle was the compassion.  As we read the synoptic Gospels we are struck again and again by Jesus’ compassion.  Jesus was, and is, not only (or not mainly) a miracle worker.  He was God incarnate.  He was fully in the nature of God and, as God is love, this same love and compassion naturally flowed into all his words and actions.  So it should be for us.