Reflection for Friday, February 13, 2004: 5th week in Ordinary Time.

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Alexander, Andy, S.J.
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"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." Mark 7|Today's gospel fills me with a very simple reflection. |When Jesus opened the man's ears and removed his speech impediment, the man could speak plainly.|I am just imagining that we all can identify with the ways we are deaf and unable to speak. At least we have to admit that there is so much 'noise' dulling our hearing, that it is difficult for any of us to say we can hear clearly what Our Lord is saying to us, each day. Do we know what he is saying to us in the concrete choices we are making, the relationships that shape us, and the way we use our gifts? We do a lot of talking, and we find it easy to vent some of our deepest disappointments and judgements, and too often repeat the humorous, cynical and sad messages that surround us. So, our speech faces impediments to speaking clearly a message of hope, of compassion, of challenge, of commitment that is rooted in the Gospel.|How well do I listen? Are there people around me that say I don't listen? Can I say that I hear the 'cry' of those in need around me? Am I aware of what the Lord might be saying to me, right in the midst of the choices I am about to make today? What a wonderful and revealing examination.|And what would people say of my words? Is what flows from my mouth, from my heart, in harmony with the message of Jesus? At work? At home? Would others say that I speak with compassion? With wisdom? With light? Of harmony, of mercy, of justice, on behalf of those who are different, who are powerless, who are voice-less?|Oh, Lord, open my ears, and my heart, to receive your message of love for me, for my brothers and sisters. Let me listen to your comfort when I am down, to your promise when I'm confused, to your call when I wander.|Make me alert, attentive, sensitive to the invitations, requests, cries that surround me.|Help me hear what you desire me to hear.|And Lord, open my mouth and my lips shall proclaim your praise.|Clease and heal my heart, that my words will be filled with the breath of your love for me.|And please, Lord, set my heart on fire, that my words might be your own instrument of truth and justice for your people in need..
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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