February 12, 2021
Jesus 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. (Mark 7:31-37)
In Mark’s gospel today, we heard the Aramaic word, Ephphetha, which we are told means, “be opened.” Jesus said this word as He touched the ears and tongue of a man, enabling him to hear and speak for the first time.
During a baptism, there is an optional part of the ceremony called the Ephphetha rite. In this rite, the celebrant touches the ears and lips of the child with his thumb, saying: “The Lord Jesus made the deaf hear and the dumb speak. May God touch your ears to receive His word, and your mouth to proclaim his faith, to the praise and glory of God the Father.”
“May God touch your ears to receive His word.” He wants us to hear Him.
“May God touch your mouth to proclaim his faith.” He wants us to proclaim the gospel.
Are we deaf and mute when it comes to our faith?