A Daily Gospel Reflection by Dn. Ray Gallego for August 21st, 2023

The Gospel according to Matthew (19:16-22)

A young man approached Jesus and said, “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?” He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He asked him, “Which ones?” And Jesus replied, “You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and your mother; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Reflection: “Ephphatha!”— that is, “Be opened!”These are powerful words.  They are powerful because they are more than words.  They are words that accomplish what they say.  By saying the command “Be opened” we must obey the words that come from today’s scripture, such as Love, giving to the poor, “Come and Follow” etc.   

What is the difference between being Religious and being Faithful? Religion’ has too many meanings and implications that are linked to man and not God. There are so many religions that are arising even today that have their own twist on scripture and God. Even in Catholicism we believe in the same things, but every culture has its own ideas and philosophies that was created by man.  

Being Faithful means that I trust the Word of God; I believe it; therefore, I have faith in God. It means that I am loyal and committed to God therefore I am at peace because of my faith. When I am Faithful, I put all my problems in God’s hands because I know he cares. When I am faithful and believe in scripture then I will produce fruit. In Galatians, it states: “for through the law I died to the law, that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live, no longer I but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me. – Galatians 2:19-20 Therefore, Faith shapes the way I live.  

When Jesus speaks to us, and He speaks to us all the time, His word changes things in our life that we think are in good standing. We need to listen and be opened to change because it is happening all around us, all the time. We all are sometimes “spiritually deaf” in the sense that we do not always hear the voice of God and we listen to words that come from man.  For that reason, these words of Jesus must be spoken to us.  We must let Him take us off to a quiet place alone and speak to us.  We must let Him say those words to us.  “Ephphatha!     

Be opened and listen to the Words that Our Lord is teaching us today. Such as helping someone at the store; telling someone you Love them; lending your ear so someone can vent; helping the homeless; narrowing the margin to the marginalized; and giving power to the powerless.  

Let our Lord open the “ears” of your heart so that you can hear all that He wishes to say to you.  Once that happens, Jesus will also help you speak His words of truth and love. “Ephphatha!”    

Action of the Day: What are the ways to be opened? What is it that you are not hearing properly?  What is it God has been saying to you for a long time that you refuse to hear?   

Audio Reflection:

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