YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE 23RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: BE OPENED
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
(Mk.7:31-37) Twenty-Third Sunday In Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel Jesus cured a deaf and mute person. The people following Him begged Him to heal the man. Jesus obliged by touching both the ears and tongue of the deaf-mute and commanding “Ephphata” which means “Be opened.” Immediately the sick man was able to hear and speak.
“Open” is one beautiful word and action we have. We marvel and celebrate a lot of openings; new store, new league, new gadgets, gifts, windows, and doors. We also use the word to describe the recommended attitude of opening our hearts, minds, wills, and person. Opening allows the flowing in or out of things, ideas, and opportunities.
The deaf-mute in the Gospel today had ached for an opening of his hearing and speaking. Imagine his situation? No music. No idea and experience of the sound of nature. No human voice heard. It was made worse by not being able to speak. His interaction was limited. Even if others want to communicate with him, nothing is achieved. He was present but still absent. He was imprisoned by his own sickness. His sickness closed his world.
This, Jesus gave the command, “Be opened.” “Be opened” so that he can absorb and welcome new ideas and things. “Be opened” so that he can throw out his impurities. But most of all, “Be opened,” so that he can receive God’s graces! He received the gift of healing from his sickness. He welcomed God’s grace of salvation.
Not only sickness makes us closed. Our obsession with riches, fame, power, and beauty may also close our person to God’s grace. When we have been eaten by these worldly concerns, we close ourselves to God’s love and grace. When it happens, we limit and weaken ourselves. Be opened! It is humbling ourselves before God. Be opened! It makes us close to God. Be opened! It makes us leave our old and sinful life towards a new and holy life.