As he traveled near the Sea of Galilee, a group of people brought Jesus a man who was deaf and could barely speak. They asked Jesus to heal him. Jesus took the man away from the crowd. Mark writes that, while they were apart from the rest, Jesus first put his fingers into the deaf man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. Jesus looked up to heaven and sighed. Then he said to the man, “Ephphatha!” At this, the man’s ears were opened and he could speak. Ephphatha is an Aramaic word that means “be opened.” Through holy and physical contact with the man, Jesus gave him the capacity to audibly perceive the world and to communicate, the ability to take the world in and to interact with it in a new way. Lent can give us a chance to see the Jesus road with greater clarity, to hear what we could not hear before and to speak to our faith with a new tongue. If we are truly fortunate, we may feel Jesus stick his fingers in our ears and see him spit and grab our tongue.
PRAYER: Lord, grant me the ability to perceive the world through the filter of my Christian faith. Stick your fingers in my ears so that I may have ears to hear. Touch my tongue so that I may speak in a way that advances the kingdom.