Impeding God’s grace
Jesus was travelling through the region known as the “Decapolis,” between the coast of Tyre and Sidon, and Galilee, therefore in the peripheries and even in areas outside the Holy Land. Yet, people had heard of the Lord and they wanted His touch. They were ready to convert to Christ: they had open minds, contrite hearts. However, as it happens, there were also some with broken but stubborn heart and locked up minds, fixed in their own world. God’s grace could not permeate them. We find this kind of inner closure and isolation represented by a deaf and a mute man who was brought to Jesus for healing.
As we learn, Jesus took the deaf and mute man aside, touched his ears and tongue, and then, looking up to the heavens, with a deep sigh said, “Ephphatha,” which means, “Be opened.” And immediately the man began to hear and speak fluently.
Interestingly, these peripheries within the valley of the spiritually dead, with the deaf and the mute, with broken hearts and locked up minds – can easily be found in central Christian areas, where the Gospel is well known. This includes our hearts. We find many around us who are convinced that nobody can avoid living a corrupted life; that we are sinners, enslaved in our compulsions, that hence it is not possible to live according to God’s vision for our life. There are even false teachers who preach that whoever might call us to the moral standards prescribed by the ten Commandments is a hypocrite.
We turn in prayer to Holy Mary, the Mother attentive to her Son Jesus. Her heart listens to his Word. Her special relationship with Jesus is totally “open” to the transforming love of the Lord. May her motherhood towards the Church help us be open, and to hear “Ephphatha“. We also bring with her all those spiritually deaf and mute to Jesus.