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Again 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
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I come to
you once again in prayer. Even though I cannot see
you, my faith tells me that you are present.
You are ready to listen and desire to speak
with me. Your presence gives me hope, because you are
the all-powerful God, the creator of heaven and earth.
You are the source of all that is good in
my life. Nothing happens to me without your knowing
and permitting it. My hope leads me to love.
I want to be one with you in mind and
heart, identifying myself with your will and your standards.
Petition: Lord, teach me how to be
alone with you. Help me to encounter you.
from the Crowd: Why does Jesus take the deaf man
off by himself away from the crowd? Jesus wants
to be alone with him, away from the noise and
activity of the crowd. He wants to be able
to communicate with him in silence and solitude. Jesus invites
me also to go away from the crowd, away
from the activity and noise of life, away from
other people and distractions, in order to pray. Jesus invites
me to be alone with him so that he
can reveal himself to my soul and heal the
impediments that keep me from communicating his love and truth
2. The Human Effort to Heal: Many times
in the Gospel, Jesus works a miracle with a
mere word. But sometimes he performs miracles with a
physical act, as in this case, when he puts his
finger into the man’s ears and touches his tongue
with spittle. What are we to make of this? What
can we learn from it? Many times, our healing
requires a human effort. Action must be taken. We
are not purely spiritual beings, but body and spirit woven
into one. So our physical side plays a part.
We kneel to pray. We go into the presence of
the Blessed Sacrament. We make an effort to read
Scripture. We do all of these physical things so
that our entire being, both body and soul, can be
healed of sin and grow closer to Christ.
To Speak Plainly: The fruit of this encounter with Christ
and of the effort that Christ makes is clarity
–– plain speech. The fog of imperfection is removed
and the deaf-mute begins to speak with the clarity and
the forcefulness of truth –– so much so that
the people are astounded. If I have truly encountered
Christ, the fog that veils my mind and muddles my
speech will be removed. The double-edged sword of God’s
truth will shine through my words and actions so
much so that people will be astounded.
Conversation with Christ:
Lord, I want to be your disciple. I want your
truth and love to shine in my life. Open
my intellect so that I can perceive your truth as
it really is. Soften my heart to love you
with a pure love that overflows into the hearts of
those around me. Strengthen my will to choose you
and your ways steadfastly.
Resolution: I will make
the effort today to set aside some time to pray
away from the business of life.