February 10, 2012
Memorial of Saint Scholastica, virgin
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Jesus left the district of Tyre and went
by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, into
the district of the Decapolis. And people brought to him a
deaf man who had a speech impediment and begged him
to lay his hand on him. 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. He
ordered them not to tell anyone. But the more he
ordered them not to, the more they proclaimed it. They were
exceedingly astonished and they said, “He has done all things
well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
Lord, I truly sense your love in my heart. I hope
in you, for you have won my confidence by revealing
your sacrificial love to me. I love you, Lord, and I
wish to be a witness of your love to all.
Petition: Lord, open my heart to your love
so I may be a convincing witness to the world
that your love exists.
1. Who Would I
Be if I Did Not Have the Faith? We can
be so familiar with and immersed in our Catholic heritage
that we take for granted the truths we have received
from our Catholic Church, much like most of us take
for granted our ability to hear or speak. Today’s Gospel gives
us an opportunity to contemplate a man who from birth
did not enjoy either of these common faculties. There are people
who cannot embrace Jesus’ revelation not because it isn’t given,
but because they are not prepared to receive it. Let us
rejoice in the grace we have received and honor it
with our fidelity. What type of person would I be (or
soon become) if I didn’t have the gift of faith
to support, guide or mold my values?
2. Christ Is the
Revelation of the Father and His Love: Christ revealed himself
to this man, and his power gave him hearing and
good speech. “Christ … by the revelation of the mystery of
the Father and his love, fully reveals man to man
himself and makes his supreme calling clear” (Gaudium et Spes,
no. 22). Inasmuch as we are deaf to divine revelation
we are like this man. Unable to speak the message
of the meaning of our lives, unable to give ourselves
to God and others, life just passes us by. But if
God touches our ears and tongue, if he cures and
empowers us with his grace, our lives take on a
whole new direction and significance. God does touch our ears
and tongue, but we must embrace his grace and purpose
in our lives.
3. We Are Witnesses to the
World that Love Exists: Our Lord restored to this man
the health of his ears and tongue. Christ thus revealed to
him his real identity: “He, who is ‘the image of
the invisible God’ (Colossians 1:15), is himself the perfect man” (Redemptor
Hominis, no. 10). How difficult his life must have been
before this revelation! How hard must it have been for him
to believe and love! “Man cannot live without love. He remains
a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is
senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he
does not encounter love, if he does not experience it
and make it his own, if he does not participate
intimately in it” (Ibid). With his health restored, the man became
an agent of God’s redemption. Who could keep him silent now
about this wonderful experience of his Savior he has had? How
loved by God this man must have felt that day
when Christ restored his health! This man believed and so he
speaks! Why am I silent? Do I not know that as a
Catholic I am to be a witness to the world
that love exists?
Conversation with Christ:
have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
late have I loved you!
You were within me,
but I was outside, and it was there that I
searched for you.
In my unloveliness I plunged
into the lovely things, which you created.
were with me, but I was not with you.
Created things kept me from you; yet if they
had not been in you they would not have been at all.
You called, you shouted, and
you broke through my deafness.
You flashed, you shone,
and you dispelled my blindness.
You breathed your
fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I
pant for you.
I have tasted you, now
I hunger and thirst for more.
me, and I burned for your peace.
of St. Augustine)
Resolution: Today, I will share an aspect of
my faith with a friend or family member.