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May I be Open
Friday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
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.”
Opening Prayer: Jesus, I want my life to be opened up to you. I want to open the ears of my heart, to be able to listen to your voice, now that I am here alone with you. Give me the grace to focus my eyes on you, and to have the patience to wait while you act. Let me not be too rushed to stop and be with you. Remove what holds me back from receiving all you have to give me.
- Away by Himself: Many of Christ’s miracles were done in public, some in the middle of a crowd, sometimes while everyone was walking and people were pressing on him. But for this man, Jesus needed time alone. We may have been touched by Christ in the middle of a crowd, supported by others, able to rejoice with those present. And then there are times when he wants us all to himself, or rather, he wants us to have him all to ourselves. We need this kind of encounter with Christ, the one that happens in secret, away from the crowd. He uses these moments to open our minds and hearts so that we can better receive his love.
- Be Opened!: The man’s ears and mouth were opened at Jesus’ command. What in our life needs to be opened? There are many ways that our soul can be closed: by anger or bitterness that I cling to, some lack of trust in God that leaves me anxious, or unforgiveness in a relationship. When we sense a lack of peace interiorly, we don’t need to resolve it alone. We don’t need to be discouraged about not being perfect. We just need to be before Christ as we really are and let him into the area that is closed. We need to exercise enough trust to let go and invite him in.
- Tell No One: Jesus wanted the people not to tell others about him, but they ignored him. He must have known that they would proclaim him anyway. What a mystery! Jesus has room in his plan even for those who refuse to follow his commands, those who do things their own way. His providential will can’t be foiled. “The truth that God is at work in all the actions of his creatures is inseparable from faith in God the Creator. God is the first cause who operates in and through secondary causes: ‘For God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.’ Far from diminishing the creature’s dignity, this truth enhances it. Drawn from nothingness by God’s power, wisdom, and goodness, it can do nothing if it is cut off from its origin, for ‘without a Creator the creature vanishes.’ Still less can a creature attain its ultimate end without the help of God’s grace” (CCC 308).
Conversing with Christ: Jesus I trust in your providence, believing that your will for me is always better than my own. Please give me the grace to surrender, to open up my heart and soul, to give over my will so that I can obey you more completely.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will spend a few moments taking note of the areas where there is a lack of peace, where there may be some obstruction to your grace in my heart, and bring this to you for healing.
For Further Reflection: Catholic Guided Meditation 1: The Presence of God.
Fr. Adam Zettel, LC, was ordained in 2017 and worked for three years as a high school chaplain in Dallas, Texas. Now he resides in Oakville, Ontario, serving youth and young adults.