In fulfillment of the signs of the Messiah in Isaiah 35, Jesus opens the ears and loosens the tongue of a deaf mute. The people the people in the area east of the Sea of Galilee react in astonishment saying, “He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak (Mark 7:37).”
James, in the epistle lesson, (James 2:1-18) calls on his readers to listen to what he has to say, “Listen, my beloved brothers,” as he calls on his audience to live out their faith in Christ, “Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to those who love him?”
Then the psalms and prayer call on God to hear the prayer and praise of the faithful.
In the Introit from Psalm 28, we will read or sing, “To you, O Lord, I call; my rock, be not deaf to me…Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy…Blessed be the Lord! For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.”
One of the themes that runs through the lessons and psalms for Sunday is that when the Messiah comes he will unstop the ears of the deaf. At the same time, the psalmist pleads that God open his ears and be not deaf to his voice. Thus hearing goes both ways. We need to hear God’s voice speaking through the Gospel and God needs to hear our pleas for his gospel mercy to both protect and save us.
Notice the Prayer of the Day reference to God’s ears: O Lord, let your merciful ears be open to the prayers of your humble servants and grant that what they ask may be in accord with your gracious will; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.