Prayers, Observations and reflections on the way to being.
Ephphatha, be opened.
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.
My old ears suffer from tinnitus, and they just don't hear very well. So my hearing is not reliable, to say the least. One time, while watching a car commercial, I heard "and the squirrel is standard option." What squirrel. I asked my wife. She corrected me: spoiler. Squirrel is funnier.
So when I read this gospel, I connected with the cured man's excitement. And yet, I wondered what the symbolism in Jesus opening his ears. Thanks to Father Larry Gillick, SJ. He enlightened me.
The Gospel calls this fellow, “a deaf person”. That is what others called him and so that was his name, his image, his defectiveness. In placing His fingers into the man’s ears, Jesus is asking the man to be open to whom Jesus names him. The challenge before the man then, would be to live that healed name.
Jesus redeems this man more than heals him. This is the work, the laboring, of Jesus to bring all of us out of our deafness, to lives of hearing deeply that to which Jesus asks us to listen. He did all things well, except He cannot force any of us to really listen and allow what we hear to bring us more into full creation. Listening to adjectives by which we define ourselves impedes our ability to hear. We have our own personal fingers in our ears and we can be so accustomed to not listening that we can assume nothing different is being spoken.
How about you? What might you hear if your ears are open to the Voice of the One who calls us to Love, instead of the voice of your willful mind or of your neurotic, fearful ego?
Happy those whose help is Jacob's God, whose hope is in the LORD, their God,The maker of heaven and earth, the seas and all that is in them, Who keeps faith forever,secures justice for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free;the LORD gives sight to the blind. The LORD raises up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous.