Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.
The description of the miracle featured in today’s Gospel can teach us much. First and foremost, the text presents a group of people who bring someone to meet Jesus: “They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him.”
This verse teaches us a straightforward lesson: intercession. To pray for someone means leading him to Jesus.
The second thing is the infinite kindness with which Jesus treats this man:
“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.”
Jesus does not showcase this man’s pain. He does not use his suffering for advertisement. Instead, he builds an intimate relationship with him and then does the most powerful thing that love can do: to open that which is closed – Ephphatha! Open up! This is not just about being able to hear and speak again, but about being open to life itself.
If someone were to ask us the real reason why we believe in Jesus, we might answer by saying that He is the only one who, by loving us, opens our lives wide again. He makes true communication possible – and therefore, all true relationships.
And we all know that it is precisely through relationships that we find happiness.
Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.