The Gospel according to Mark (7:31-37)
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 speak.”
Reflection: How often do you hear Jesus say this to you? “Ephphatha! Be opened!” Or how often do you hear Him speak to you with such authority?
Did Jesus say this only because this man was physically deaf and He wanted to physically cure him? Or is there a deeper significance? By healing this man unable to hear physical sounds, Jesus was revealing something to us about what He wants to do for us. Jesus is giving us a clear and deeper message in this healing. Certainly there are many messages we can take from this passage.
The message is in Jesus’ command: “Be opened!” These are powerful words commanding action. They are not optional words. They are clear and definitive. “Be opened” is not a question, not an invitation, it is a command.
These two little words reveal the fact that Jesus has made up His mind to act. They reveal that He is not hesitant in the least in this choice. He has made up His mind and has spoken His will. And this action, on His part, is what makes a difference. These two little words reveal that God is not indecisive when He speaks. He is not shy or uncertain. He is absolute and clear.
It should give us great comfort in the sense that we can trust that this all-powerful God is all-powerful and is in control. If He is even in control of the natural world (physical hearing), then He is most certainly in control of the spiritual world, too. He is able to do all things good.
When we find that we are in the presence of one who is not only all-powerful, but also all-loving and all-merciful, we should be able to breathe a huge sigh of relief and turn our absolute trust over to Him. He is able and fully willing to be in control.
Action: Reflect, today, upon these two little words. Let this holy and divine authority of Jesus take control over your life. Let Him command you. His commands are perfect love and mercy. They are words that will direct you to your ultimate good. And this all-powerful God is worthy of all your trust.