Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. 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.
Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. They were astounded beyond measure, saying, “He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”
Each time we attend Mass, the priest sends us forth with some variation of a dismissal: “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your lives!” How long does it take us to forget these vital words? Do we make it to the back of the church before we start grinching and complaining? Do we make it to our cars? To brunch? Back home? Do we reflect the joy of the Gospel and the love Christ has for each one of us by the lives we live, thus giving glory to God?
If we place ourselves in the lives of the witnesses in today’s Gospel, we can see how, if we actually see and believe the good work done by Christ, we are compelled to go out and proclaim it. Even when ordered by Christ not to tell anyone, the joy they felt compelled them to proclaim the good news that much more. May the good work done by Christ in our own lives compel us with that same force!
Lord, as I leave Mass today, help me to hear the words of the dismissal as a call to spread your Good News by the joy of my own life.
—Marcus Fryer, SJ
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