At one point in the gospels, Jesus heals a deaf and dumb man and enables him to hear and speak. He speaks the Aramaic word “ephphatha” which means “be opened” and he touches his ears
and tongue, and the man is delivered from his isolation. The implication in this healing event is not only simply that this man can hear and speak again, but that now he is able to hear the word
of God and profess God’s goodness to others. When each of us was baptized, the priest put his finger on our ears and on the corner of our mouths and prayed, “Ephphatha”, “May your ears be
opened to hear God’s word and your mouth be opened to praise the Lord to the glory of God the Father”. The most important thing we can hear is God’s word as revealed to us through Christ and the most important words we can speak are words of thanksgiving and praise to God. This raises an important question for us. In a world filled each day with a thousand voices, do we truly seek to hear what God has to say? For after all, his word alone leads to understanding and joy in this world and to everlasting life. It is easy to let his word be drowned out by the clamor that is all around us, but we do that to our spiritual impoverishment and perhaps even to our loss of eternity. It is also easy, in our hectic lives, to not speak words of praise and thanksgiving to him, or, afraid of being labeled as a religious zealot, to not witness to his truth when those opportunities present themselves. Let us this week measure how much time we spend searching out God’s word and
how often praise and witness to him finds its way to our lips.