“Ephphatha!” — “Be opened!”. This was the command Jesus made to the deaf and mute man brought to him according to the Gospel Reading for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time.
That person’s disability was physical and by opening him up, Jesus cured the man of this deafness and speech impediment. However, there are those of us, me included that may need to be opened up spiritually and morally.
These days in particular, when news of killings, immoraility, scandals, corruption, etc. fill the traditional news outlets as well as our social media feeds, we need to reflect and examine if our own spiritual or moral sense have been impeded.
The “culture of death” is being shoved in our faces that we become so numb that it does not surprise or worse no longer shocks or disgusts us. The fact that some of us think that those killed probably deserved it and that society is better off without them since they are unworthy members is a cause for alarm.
When I read about “pro-choice” advocates promoting abortion trying to justify that they are for women’s rights and saying that the fetus is not alive, I cringe. I was horrified when people from Ireland cried for joy when abortion was legalized.
It seems that there are those of us whose moral compasses have gone awry.
There are also times when we are so overwhelmed by our own problems that we close ourselves to God, particulalry when we think that He doesn’t hear us because our prayers are left unanswered.
Perhaps we need to emulate what Jesus did to the man when we he took the man away from the crowd: We also need to separate ourselves from all that is happening and look inward to find the time to open ourselves again to God’s voice, to God’s will.
Like Mary, whose Nativity we celebrated last September 8, we should always be open to hearing God and allowing Him to work through us. Eve closed herself to God’s will and consequently, that choice affected all of us. Fortunately, Mary, the new Eve, opened herself up to God and her choice gave us a chance for salvation. Mary may not have understood everything that was happening, but by opening herself up, she allowed God’s graces and plans to work through her. She had aligned her will to God’s will.
There is a saying that goes, “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”. However, if we also do not listen to God’s Word or Will, if we fail to see or experience his goodness, then how can we speak of Him or share our experience of Him to others?
Almighty God and Father, we praise and adore you! We thank you for always providing us with health and material needs. For the times when we closed up ourselves to You, spiritually and morally, we ask that You help us to open ourselves to You again. Send Your Holy Spirity to touch our hearts and minds so that we may be open to Your will. Grant us the grace to realize that it is not our will, but Yours that will be done.
Help us to see Mary as an example of obedience and being open always to Your will.
Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother and Our Lady of Candelaria, we ask. You this through our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever. Amen.