© Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church 2010

Twenty - third Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 9, 2018


There is a famous painting which shows Jesus knocking on a door.  It is a metaphor for Jesus knocking on the door of our lives, requesting to be let in and share our lives with us.  The usual question people ask in regards to this painting, is why doesn’t Jesus just open the door and enter, but the thing that is often overlooked is that the door in the painting has no door knob or any way to open it from the outside.  The door can only be opened from the inside, and it is up to us to open the door of our lives and welcome Jesus in.  This is important because Jesus will never force Himself on us, we must seek Him and invite Him in so that He might dwell in our lives and share His life with us.  
Keeping this image in mind, it helps us to understand what a formidable barrier a locked door really is, metaphorically and spiritually speaking and even in reality, unless of course we have the key.
In the Gospel for today, a deaf man with a speech impediment is brought to Jesus.  The family and friends of this man beg Jesus to heal him and so Jesus takes him away from the crowd and, putting his fingers into the deaf man’s ears, speaks the word, “Ephphatha” which means, “Be opened”.  Immediately the man was able to hear and his speech impediment was gone and despite Jesus telling him not to tell anyone, the man proclaims it to everyone.  Quite obviously, Jesus was the key to this man being healed, but once his life had been healed, the words of Jesus to, “be opened” took on new meaning as the man couldn’t stop proclaiming the wonder Jesus had performed for him, telling everyone, “He has done all things well.  He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.” 
This Gospel passage finds a home in us as Jesus is the key in our lives as He says, “Ephphatha, Be Opened” to us as well.  As the door of our lives of faith must be opened from the inside to welcome Jesus, we must then open ourselves up to growing and maturing in our faith in Christ Jesus by proclaiming Him in what we say and do.  It may be difficult, but it must be done if we want to be opened to Christ.  Each and every Catholic is required to attend Mass each weekend and Holy Day and while that is vital and essential, is not the only requirement of how we are to live our Catholic faith.  We are called to pray, study and actively participate in our lives of faith so that we can “be open” to truly living and experiencing the hope of our faith, through a serious and daily commitment in the life of the Church and to living our faith in Jesus Christ as people of faith.
Very simply, Jesus is the key to opening the door of our faith, but this is not a singular experience, but an on-going process of study, prayer and active participation that requires that we actively seek broadening ways to live and express our faith in conversion of spirit.  Thus maturing in faith we come to realize that we cannot be opened and closed at the same time, we cannot speak and remain mute without being disingenuous to our faith.  Therefore, let us follow the example of the deaf and mute man in the Gospel and “be opened” to living and proclaiming Jesus in the world.