Before they are baptized, an adult celebrates the ephphatha rite. In it, the presider touches the person’s ears and lips and says, “Be opened that you may profess the faith you hear, to the praise and glory of God” (RCIA 199). Most who celebrate this rite suffer no physical hearing or speech impediment as in today’s Gospel reading. So at the beginning of our Christian life, what are we commanded to be opened to?
Though we may hear quite well, our hearts might still remain deaf. Though our mouths open to speak, our lives remain closed to real encounter or change.
However, if I proclaim God’s Word not just with words but with my life so that another hears it with their heart, that Word can open a way through the walls that divide us. If I let God’s Word make a home in me that it cannot be hidden, that Word brings light where there was only fear. Fear keeps us closed. Fear shuts us down.If I let God’s Word make a home in me that it cannot be hidden, that Word brings light where there was only fear. Click To Tweet
But baptism changes all that. It gives us courage to listen, speak, and be opened to change, and it gives us a community of courageous companions who show us how to glorify God by our lives.
In your life, what is closed to radical change? Where do you need the help of others to be opened to Jesus’s gift of courage?