Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.”
And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. They were astounded beyond measure, saying, “He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
I find it interesting how often Jesus orders people not to tell anyone about the miracles he has performed. Generally, they don’t listen and instead proclaim the news far and wide. I have to wonder why he doesn’t want the word to get out. News like that would – and did – draw people to him in droves, and wasn’t that a good thing? But perhaps he didn’t want people to believe in him solely on the basis of the miracles he performed. There is more to faith than that, especially the faith that Jesus invites us to. The Kingdom of God that Jesus preached and lived is about how we love one another, not about what our God can do for us.
This then begs the question – what do we base our faith on? On what God can do for us? Whether or not our prayers are answered? Or is our faith grounded in something deeper, such as our love for God and for one another and our identity as God’s children?
—Mandy Dillon is a Retreat Coordinator at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, IL.
Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
—Attributed to Pedro Arrupe, SJ