Ephphatha – Be Opened (A thought for the 23rd Sunday of The Year)

I read recently that this word, Ephphatha (pronounced EFUTHA) and meaning “be opened” is the shortest prayer used by Jesus in the Gospels. Though undoubtedly short, as can be seen in today’s Gospel, it was effective and a man with tied tongue found his voice – the same man with closed eyes, found his sight.

What does it mean to “be opened”? Is it more than loosening a tongue or allowing closed eyes to see? Quite likely it is. That’s what the man wanted in the gospel of course – he wanted to be able to see and speak and understandably so. This is the expected course of events in the life of all.

People, living with disability, seem at times to be able to see what many can’t and speak what many don’t. They find an inner strength and direction, clearly evidenced these days in the Paralympics, whereby adversity and what we might term a “raw deal” are met head on, and put to rest as people adjust, achieve and live life to the full.

Openness and the call to be “open” brings challenge. It may be the need to be open to another’s point of view or life choice. Sometimes it might involve the need to respect another’s ways, even though they are not ours or to welcome into our lives people and situations that we never thought would cross our path.

Ephatha – be opened.

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