There is a little ritual in the new rite of Baptism whose name and form are taken from today’s Gospel: “The Ephphatha.” The celebrant touches the ears and then the lips of the one to be baptized saying: “The Lord Jesus who made the deaf hear and the mute to speak, grant that you may soon receive His word with your ears and profess the faith with your lips, to the glory and praise of God the Father.” This simple ceremony captures what happened in today’s Gospel passage. Jesus, by healing a deaf man with a speech impediment, fulfilled Isaiah’s Messianic prophecy, “The eyes of the blind shall be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. ”The ailments listed by Isaiah are also symbolic of our interior illnesses: blindness to the needs of our neighbor, unwillingness to hear God’s voice, and the inability to speak words of praise, apology, forgiveness, and gratitude.
We need to allow Jesus to heal our spiritual deafness, muteness and blindness. We may find it hard to speak to God in prayer and harder still to hear Him speaking to us through the Bible and the Church. Let us ask for God’s help to open our ears so that we may hear Him while reading the Bible, and praise and worship Him loudly in our family prayer, also in our public worship by actively participating in the Holy Mass, singing with the choir and praying with the congregation. Jesus’ compassionate touch will help us to hear the cries of the poor and the sick and to show kindness, mercy and consideration to others. His healing touch will also help us convey peace and hope to those around us.
May our eyes be open to see God’s presence in our midst, and our ears be open to hear His Voice.
- Next Sunday we will be celebrating Welcoming Sunday in our parish. Every three months, we recognize, welcome, and bless our new parishioners. Please help other people, especially our guests and visitors, realize (and not only on this Sunday) how open, hospitable, and welcoming our faith community is, because God is in our midst.
- You are all invited to our parish picnic next Sunday, September 12th, after the 11 am Mass until 3 pm. Come with your children and grandchildren and invite your friends and neighbors. Let’s make this day a celebration day for our parish and neighborhood.
- FYI…The parish office will be closed on September 6th for the observance of Labor Day!
Happy and joyful Labor Day Weekend to all of you!