Today’s Thoughts: Early thoughts today because it is a Sunday Mass Taping Day...
In our Gospel, today, we encounter a scene in which a crowd brings to Jesus a person who cannot hear, who also has a speech impediment, probably because he cannot hear. They ask Jesus to lay his hand on the person. But rather than doing it in front of the crowd Jesus focuses in on the person. He takes him aside and makes the moment a personal, one on one, encounter. It is a moment of sensitivity, care and compassion.
Jesus takes the man off by himself and he uses a gentle touch and then prays asking for his ears and mouth to be opened. The Gospel actually says that Jesus, “Looked up to heaven and groaned and said to him, ‘Ephphatha!’ (that is ‘Be opened!)”
Jesus’ healings are never mass healings. He always looks to encounter people individually. He wants to know the person. It is not just about healing it is about faith. It is about a relationship. It is about forgiveness and growing. Jesus treats and heals the whole person not just what seems to be the problem. This person was deaf and had a speak impediment, so Jesus touches his ears as well as his tongue, and prays. The Gospel notes that immediately the person’s ears were opened and his speech impediment removed.
In Jesus’ encounters with others the basic question always seems to be – What does this person need? What will help them to be part of the community again? What will help them to feel like and be a child of God?
The challenge of this Gospel is to ask ourselves how often do we look beyond ourselves to the people we encounter in life? What do they need to be and feel like a child of God? How can we help them?
As members of the Body of Christ we are asked to be Christ’s presence in the world. As St. Teresa of Avila put it, we are Christ’s hands, eyes and feet in our world today. God depends on us to encounter, touch and help others as Jesus did. As we journey through this day let us be thankful for each and every opportunity to be Christ’s eyes and hands and feet in this world for others.
Have a great Friday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...