Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection February 09, 2024


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R/. I am the Lord your God: listen to my voice.

V/. Alleluia R/. Alleluia

V/. Open our hearts, O Lord, that we may pay attention to the words of your Son.

R/. Alleluia

At that time: Jesus returned from the region of Tyre, and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment, and they begged him to lay his hand on him. And taking him aside from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue. And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. And Jesus charged them to tell no one. But the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

1.      The biggest temptation is man’s desperate search to organize his life without God, and thus to do away with God. In other words, this is a closure to God’s grace. As long as man is closed to God’s action, he cannot experience the fullness and fulfilment of life.

2.      Without openness to God, man will experience insufficiency and inability in many ways. Therefore, what is needed is “to be opened”. Precisely, it is to be opened to God’s grace. In fact, the whole fault of the first parents was that they were opened to the Evil one, and not to God.

3.      But Jesus in the gospel reverses the situation. Jesus heals a deaf and dumb man. His actions like putting his finger into the man’s ears, spitting and touching his tongue, and pronouncing the healing command, “Ephphatha” – all show his personal concern and trouble for us.

4.      Today, the same invitation and command are addressed to each one of us: “Ephphata” (be opened). You who are deaf to God’s voice and message, you who are deaf to the cries of the needy and struggling, be opened to your inner listening.

5.      You who are dumb and not speaking God’s word and good word, be opened of inner speaking. For this, we need our hearts to be opened. Only when there is an opening to God’s grace, only when we are open to His touch and healing, we will be set free from our inner bondages, and our inner energies will overflow into streams of health and wholeness.

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