Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue.
Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. They were astounded beyond measure, saying, “He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
“I am the Lord, your God: hear my voice,” refrains the psalmist of today’s readings. How altogether alien these words feel to me as I pray them this morning. In my modern worldview, direct entrees as bold as this are foreign, if not altogether laughable. I know Jesus “speaks” to me, it is just not this obvious. And yet, in our Gospel today, Jesus is nothing if not direct. He is downright physical. Taking the deaf man off to the side, putting his finger into the man’s ears, touching his tongue, Jesus’s healing activity in this man’s life is direct, clear, palpable.
Perhaps Jesus seeks me too in the same way, offering aid to what I ail from in direct, concrete overtures? Perhaps it is as obvious as our psalmist presumes, and our Gospel presents. Is my belief in a personal God such that I am open to this possibility, as aberrant as that is to my modern sensibilities? Surely God loves me and actively works in my life, this I know. I beg for the grace to be open to God’s voice this day, in its obvious and clear possibilities.
—Matthew Couture is the assistant for secondary and pre-secondary education for the Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin Jesuits. Matt and his wife Bridget live in Chicago and have two children.
Lord Jesus, from the start you invite ordinary people to come to where you live. When they come, you welcome them and call them to labor and rejoice with you.
You are the most beautiful among all persons, and I hardly believe you want me for your friend. You are powerful, Lord. Draw me more and more into your friendship, and lead me along the way you took with friends.
—Joseph Tetlow, S.J.Please share the Good Word with your friends!