Daily Reflection for Friday, February 14, 2020
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Friday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: 1 Kings 11: 29-32; 12:19
Responsorial: Psalm 81: 10-15
Gospel: Mark 7: 31-37
Our reflection on Friday’s readings:
“ … then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, ‘Ephphatha!’ (that is, ‘Be opened!’)” Mark 7:34
Today’s Gospel is the story of another miracle, this time healing a man who could not speak or hear. The responsorial Psalm is “I am the Lord your God, hear my voice”.
During the miracle healing, Jesus looked to heaven and said Ephphatha! (Be opened!). At first, I thought the prayer of Jesus was to simply open the man’s ears so he could hear. After some reflection, I realize that simple word “Ephphatha” (be opened) is the perfect prayer when we want someone, including ourselves, to experience God in some way.
Last week, a young man in our family asked me several questions while we were casually standing in the kitchen. They went something like this: Why did Jesus need to perform magic? To stir up crowds? Be sensational? To prove He’s the Son of God? Jesus was changing rules previously given by God; did He use miracles to give Him credibility?
With kids and other people around, I had a very short window to answer and quickly asked God for help. Now I realize one word, “Ephphatha,” would have been the perfect prayer. “Open” us to you, Lord. “Open” my mouth and heart to answer. “Open” this man’s heart and ears to hear you, Lord. “Ephphatha” – so simple and yet so all encompassing.
In the kitchen, my quick response was that Jesus came to earth to show us the way to the Father, lead our souls to Heaven, save us. Every, story, parable, and experience shows us a way to follow Christ to the Father.
We talked about Jesus feeding the 5,000. My answer was that Jesus could have simply blessed everyone and removed their hunger. That would have been a miracle. But Jesus chose to involve the people, had them gather the little food available, and distribute the multiplied food to one another. Maybe that miracle was teaching us the way to the Father by serving one another, feeding the hungry, caring for one another.
Maybe the miracle of healing the deaf mute in today’s Gospel is really in the opening of the man to hear God and speak to His truth.
Blessings to you,