Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue.
Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. They were astounded beyond measure, saying, “He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Today’s Gospel has a particular meaning to me. As a more introverted and quieter person, I usually have a lot to say but rarely know how to say it. Jesus commands the deaf man, and in turn us, to “Be opened.”
I can’t help but feel that Jesus’ command goes deeper than healing the deaf man. We are called to greater openness than just speaking and hearing. But, rather, openness to love and solidarity.
This year, I am working as an Alum Service Corps volunteer. The most important thing I’ve learned is (as U2 put it) “sometimes you can’t make it on your own.” I have found myself desiring an openness to God and those surrounding me at Regis Jesuit High School. I’ve experienced an honest change – a conversion of sorts – from trying to make it on my own, to desiring that God and others help me along my path.
How are you called to use your particular strengths and gifts toward a greater community and mission?
Tough, you think you’ve got the stuff
You’re telling me and anyone
You’re hard enough
You don’t have to put up a fight
You don’t have to always be right
Let me take some of the punches
For you tonight
Listen to me now
I need to let you know
You don’t have to go it alone
And it’s you when I look in the mirror
And it’s you when I don’t pick up the phone
Sometimes you can’t make it on your own
—Excerpt from U2’s Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own
Please share the Good Word with your friends!
For when Solomon was old, his wives turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David. For Solomon followed Astarte the goddess of the Sidonians, and Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not completely follow the Lord, as his father David had done. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem. He did the same for all his foreign wives, who offered incense and sacrificed to their gods.
Then the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this matter, that he should not follow other gods; but he did not observe what the Lord commanded. Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this has been your mind and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and give it to your servant.
Yet for the sake of your father David I will not do it in your lifetime; I will tear it out of the hand of your son. I will not, however, tear away the entire kingdom; I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.”
Solomon lost his place with God when he turned his heart to strange gods. While his gods may seem obviously false to us, there are likely things in our lives that we worship or place at the center of our lives.
What are my strange gods/ idols today? A wrong, overemphasized focus on sports, social media, vacations and more can distort my heart away from Jesus. What value do these distractions really have when I lose my place with Jesus?
What is a false idol that I need to put aside to give more attention to God today?
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding, and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me
—Suscipe of St. Ignatius of Loyola
Please share the Good Word with your friends!