Reflections - September 9, 2018

“Then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him “Ephphatha!”  And immediately the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly.”  Mk. 7:34-35.
 
I would like to dwell on the phrases from this Sunday’s Gospel:  “the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed and spoke plainly….”.
 
We are moved by Jesus’ sensitivity towards this deaf-mute who lived in pagan land.  Jesus does not bless him as He was asked to do, but touches him, returns his health and returns him into his community.
 
The question to ask is: What does this miracle say to the men and women of this millennium?
 
We live in a world that we call a world of communication.  However, a medical professional told me “that so much information sometimes produces information saturation and addiction that prevents us from listening to one another”.  It also prevents us from listening to what the Lord tells us through prayer and to perceive the needs of our neighbor.
 
Another great challenge is that in addition to not listening, we have the inability to communicate.  This is noticeable in married couples, in relationships between children and their parents, and it is also noticeable in relationships inside the Church.  There are brothers and sisters that we see weekly and share “the same pew for years in the church that we sometimes don’t really know…”.  Of course, all this affects what we call the New Evangelization, which, in the end, means “to listen to your neighbor, comfort him with the words of Christ and act”. But how are we going to do this if we sometimes do not recognize them?
 
This Sunday as we receive the Body of Christ, we could ask ourselves:  What is it that sometimes prevents us from listening to the Lord who speaks to us through our neighbor?  What is that has our speech impeded to console?  Perhaps, it is only listening to my own problems.  But remember:  Suffering has a redemptive value when it resembles the redemptive value of the suffering Christ.  If something is not allowing us to listen to and comfort the needy with words of hope then we should meditate on our Christian faith and hope.  Sometimes we need to be more selective in the reception and saturation of technological information and become more humble to listen in silence to the voice of the Lord through prayer, His Word, your family, and your community.  And of course put it into practice.  Amen.