Hear and Proclaim!

Mark 7:31-37
1Kgs 11:29-32,12:19 / Psa 81

. . . his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly.
(Mark 7:35)

Once I was deaf and full of fear,
I was mute and my spirit weak…
But Christ opened my ears to hear
God’s Word which now I boldly speak.

Jesus left the region of Tyre, and by way of Sidon and the Sea of Galilee, travelled to the district of the Decapolis. A man who was deaf and had a speech impediment was brought to Him, and they begged Him to lay his hand on him. Taking him aside from the crowd in private, he put his finger into his ears, and spitting, touched his tongue; and looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, “Eph’phatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. (Mark 7:31-35)


What is interesting in this Gospel passage is the idea of eyes and ears being opened, and tongues being loosened – the freedom from the darkness of sin that once bound us, and the ability to speak out the Good News of Christ’s salvation. It refers to what the Holy Spirit has been doing in the Charismatic Renewal to spread the Gospel to all people. Those who were formerly “deaf” to God’s Word now listen as others who were once mute or unyielding because of past sinful lives now give witness to how the Gospel has transformed their lives. They all testify to the power of God’s love.

We have all been called to be ministers of God’s Word when our eyes and ears were opened and the Holy Spirit emboldened us to open our lips to proclaim the Good News at home, in our workplaces, and in our community. Almost all of us in the renewal took that crucial crossroad in our lives when we heeded the invitation of a friend or associate to a prayer meeting or a bible sharing session. If only more laymen would respond to God’s call to minister, our population would become more prayerful, our cities more peaceful, and lives more meaningful in helping the poor and afflicted. Jesus has opened our hearts and minds. Are we willing to reciprocate by employing the gifts we have received to open other hearts and minds as well?

Jesus is our Model to follow if we are willing to become ministers of God’s Word. In this Gospel passage, He shows us that we must first of all be compassionate, as He Himself responded compassionately to another’s need. We must be prayerful, as Jesus constantly prayed to the Father for guidance. We must get involved in a personal way, as Jesus touched the sick without holding back. And we must communicate positively, as our Lord expressed in words, casting out illnesses and evil from those who have total faith in God’s mercy.

As You have opened our eyes and ears to receive Your wisdom, and our hearts and minds to understand Your will, loosen our tongues and embolden us Lord to proclaim your Good News of salvation. Amen.

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