Remember the American Civil War, when North and South were divided? In today's first reading we see the beginning of the division of Israel into the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom.
In today's Gospel reading from Mark 7, Jesus heals a deaf man with a speech impediment. Jesus takes the man aside, away from the crowds. "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."
"Be opened!" What if Jesus said those words to you? Even if you can hear? Perhaps instead of addressing our ears, Jesus could be speaking into our hearts or our minds. Don't you think that having a closed heart would be an even greater malady than having closed ears? Listen today to see if Jesus is speaking those words to your heart and your mind. "Be opened!"
Father, forgive us for having closed ears and hearts. May Jesus open them, just as he did for the deaf man's ears. Amen.
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