Friday, February 10, 2012

Gospel Reflection

February 10, 2012
St. Scholastica, Virgin (Memorial)
by V. Romeo A. Almeda
Sharing God’s Message to Me

First Reading:               1 Kings 11:29-32; 12:19  
Psalm:                         Psalm 81:10-15    
Gospel:                        Mark 7:31-37    

31Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, through the region of the Decap'olis. 32And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech; and they besought him to lay his hand upon him. 33And taking him aside from the multitude privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue; 34and looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, "Eph'phatha," that is, "Be opened." 35And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. 36And he charged them to tell no one; but the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. 37And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, "He has done all things well; he even makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak."

33 He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; 34 then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, “Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”) Mark 7: 33-34


Once, while horsing around with buddies, I asked one of them to hold my wrist firmly. I told him I could take off his hand without using force. I then moistened my two fingers with saliva and motioned to touch him with the wet fingers. Instinctively, he took his hand -- and I did not have to use force. Well, neither did Jesus have to touch the deaf man's tongue with his spitted-on finger (eww!)  because his word alone would have been enough. Even touching his cloak or the tassel of his cloak would have been enough to cause healing. Yet, Jesus used his finger. Why? My guess is that He wanted to test the faith of the deaf man; to see if the deaf man would be overcome with hygiene concerns or stuff like that.

In a figurative way, that Jesus had to say, "Ephphata!" ("Be opened!") is also a command to us to listen not only with open ears but also with open hearts. 

LORD, open my heart and enter in. Amen.