1 Kings 11:29-32,12:19
One day when Jeroboam had gone out of Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah of Shiloh accosted him on the road. Ahijah was wearing a new cloak; the two of them were in the open country by themselves. Ahijah took the new cloak he was wearing and tore it into twelve strips, saying to Jeroboam, ‘Take ten strips for yourself, for thus the Lord speaks, the God of Israel, “I am going to tear the kingdom from Solomon’s hand and give ten tribes to you. He shall keep one tribe for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel.’
And Israel has been separated from the House of David until the present day.
Returning from the district of Tyre, Jesus went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, right through the Decapolis region. And they brought him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they asked him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, put his fingers into the man’s ears and touched his tongue with spittle. Then looking up to heaven he sighed; and he said to him, ‘Ephphatha’, that is, ‘Be opened.’ And his ears were opened, and the ligament of his tongue was loosened and he spoke clearly. And Jesus ordered them to tell no one about it, but the more he insisted, the more widely they published it. Their admiration was unbounded. ‘He has done all things well,’ they said ‘he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.’
Have you ever experienced hearing your name being called but you are unresponsive? I have, so many times, and not only when it comes to my name. Even when I am listening, there were moments when I was hearing everything but my mind was ‘spaced out’ elsewhere. There were times when I recorded lectures so that I could listen to them again when I study. There was a topic that seemed to be easy but I could not comprehend any of it. I re-listened to my recordings, but still, I could not move forward with that topic.
The gospel today is about a deaf and mute man who was bought before Jesus. And Jesus cured this man. Jesus wanted to keep this miracle a secret. But people are human. The more rules are imposed on them, the more likely they would break them. The gospel teaches us that we can be mute and deaf spiritually. On our own, we do not have the capacity to share the good news nor understand it. It is by the grace of God that we can fully understand and speak the message of the readings. This gift is given freely. Sometimes, we just have to ask for it and develop it. We must always pray to God that our deaf and mute heart will always be healed.
I believe everyone prays. But prayer is a two-way communication. We talk to God and then we listen to him. Sometimes, we just want to do the talking. We do not know how to listen. There are times when we think we were listening, but we are not. We persevere by asking God for everything, but we do not give Him the chance to speak to us. Being silent is a way where we can listen to God. It seems easy to shut our mouth, but our mind is still noisy. It is not easy to silence ourselves. It takes practice, perseverance, and patience. It is easier to think about being silent but more difficult for it to be done. There are people who are already experts on this, there are others who are just starting. I am an example of someone who is struggling with silence. I try to set a time for it, but I am not always faithful with my schedule. The thing is, we must not give up doing what is pleasing to God because God never abandons us.
I gave up listening to that recording. Instead, I asked a very knowledgeable classmate to explain it to me. It did help. Sometimes when we think we have done so many things, we tend to forget that we also need to listen. Silence is a necessary part of our life in order to hear more of what God is saying to us.
(Today’s Oxygen by Beryl Baterina)
Prayer: Father God, please open our hearts to know your will. Give us the humility to accept it so that we may fulfill your will.
Thanksgiving: Ever dearest God, we are truly grateful for everything you have given us. Thank you for giving us another chance to do Your will. Thank you for the gift of hearing and understanding, which we hope we may use well.