Today's Gospel: Mark 7:31-37 - 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time This gospel has always held a special place in my heart, as I am a Speech Language Pathologist. I have devoted my entire career working with preschoolers who are unable to communicate. I was humbled as I read this passage struck by Jesus’ compassionate care for this man who has spent his life silent. Can you imagine what it is like to be unable to communicate your basic wants, needs, feelings and ideas? Can you imagine how powerless it feels to never ask a question? As I entered the scene, I slowly sat beside this gentle man who was shaking in fear. He couldn’t even ask, “Who is he and what is going on?” He had no idea who Jesus was. How could you possibly explain the miracles of this gentle healer without words? I sat and savored the sanctity of the moment. As Helen Keller’s ingenious teacher, Anne Sullivan, connected with Helen through the sense of touch, Jesus also performed this miracle by touch. Jesus tenderly and lovingly reached out and touched this man who was deaf saying “Ephphatha”. Ephphatha - what an unusual and ancient sounding word, meaning “Be opened.” In our busy and “connected” lives, we too are called to “be opened” to be touched by God. Two thousand years later the beauty, mystery and symbolism of these words still shine through Holy Mother Church through the Sacrament of Baptism. Christ's same healing gesture is practiced at the baptism of a child when the celebrant touches the ears and mouth of the child with his thumb, saying, “May He soon touch your ears to receive His word and your mouth to proclaim His faith, to the praise and glory of God the Father.” We are all called to “be opened” to hear God’s Word and to proclaim the Gospel.


How are you being called to be opened to the Word of God?


Lord, open our ears that we may hear the cries of the hungry, the cold, the frightened, the sick, the oppressed. Renew in us Your spirit so we can hear Your voice and follow You. Amen.
Copyright 2018 Catherine Schipper I have been a Speech Language Pathologist for more than 40 years, delighting in a child's first words. I am no longer able to work as I an legally blind, but realize that I am on a new journey waiting to be opened to dream new dreams and to go where I am called. Receive newsletters in your inbox, including the Daily Gospel Reflection each morning! * indicates required
  Gospel Reflections 800x800 gold outline