February 9, 2018
And people brought to him (Jesus) 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. Mk_7:31-37
In the Sacrament of Baptism, the Priest or Deacon will offer a prayer over the newly baptized using the words: “The Lord, Jesus, made the deaf hear and the dumb speak. 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. Amen” From: The Rite of Baptism for Children. The prayer is called the Ephphatha Prayer and it is derived from today’s Gospel reading.
If we are baptized Christians, it’s a good reminder that this prayer has been said over us as well. Are we receiving His Word with our undivided attention? Are we proclaiming His faith for all the world to hear, beloved? And if we’re not, what’s holding us back? Maybe we still need one more prayer.
“The Lord God made the man (and woman) to think and the brain to choose. May the Holy Spirit soon touch our minds with wisdom and understanding and our gray matter with prudence and right judgment, that we may listen to what our ears have heard and profess what our hearts believe, for the salvation of our fellow-man and the Glory of God our Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.”
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