REFLECTION FOR TODAY
September 5, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
“He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, “Ephphatha!” that is, “Be opened!”. And [immediately] the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly.” Mk. 7:33-35
Our gospel reference today forms part of the healing of the deaf man with a speech impediment in the Decapolis. In this healing account, the word “Ephphatha” stands out. Ephphatha is an Aramaic word used by Jesus and translated into Greek to mean “open”.
Ephphatha used by Jesus is powerful word because it is more than a mere word. It is a word that accomplish what it says. These words are spoken by Jesus after the deaf man is brought to Him with the request for healing. By saying the command “Be opened!”, the deaf man’s ears are opened, and his speech impediment is removed.
When Jesus used this word, He was not addressing to the sick organs (ears and tongue) but to the sick man himself. And the language should be ‘you be opened’, or ‘open yourself’ to understand the voice of God himself who is standing before you today. You have been deaf and mute for quite a long time, and are far taken away from your God, but today, he stands before you to loosen you up to his voice so that from now, you will be able to praise him with your tongue.
When Jesus speaks, His word changes things. This is true in this story, but it is also true in our lives. We all are deaf and struggle with a speech impediment in the sense that we do not always hear the voice of God and we do not always speak His word and words of charity. For that reason, these words of Jesus must be spoken to us. We must let Him take us off to a quiet place alone and speak to us. We must let Him say those words to us: “Ephphatha! – Be opened!”
What is it that you are not hearing properly? What is it that God has been saying to you for a long time that you refuse to hear? What is it that you have allowed yourself to become deaf to? Let our Lord open the “ears” of your heart so that you can hear all that He wishes to say to you. Once that happens, Jesus will also help you speak His words of truth and love.
Reflect, today, upon how open you are to hearing the voice of God. We all struggle at times with listening, and we especially may struggle listening to God. Spend some time alone with our Lord and let Him heal you, so that you can hear and understand all that He is saying to you.
Lord, I do not always listen to You. Please speak Your words of healing to me so that I can hear You more clearly. In hearing You, may I listen to all that You have to say. Jesus, I trust in You.