ST SCHOLASTICA, V. (Memorial) White
Scholastica, the sister of Saint Benedict, had been consecrated to God from her earliest years. She was accustomed to visiting her brother once a year, outside the monastery gate. In one of her visits, she stayed with Benedict talking from dusk to dawn. One day while Benedict was in his cell, he looked up to the sky and saw his sister’s soul leave her body in the form of a dove and flew up to heaven. He sent his brethren to bring her body to the monastery and laid it in the tomb that he had prepared for himself.
First Reading: Gen 3:1-8; Psalm: 32. R. v. 1a; Gospel: Mk 7:31-37
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
“Jesus sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly.” (Mk 7:34-35).
The word “Ephphatha” means “Be opened.” With this command Jesus healed the deaf and mute man as narrated in today’s gospel. Jesus healed this man to set him free so that he may hear and proclaim the good news of God. So whatever is an impediment or obstacle to hearing and proclaiming the good news is against the wish of God.
Silence can encourage sin and all kinds of evil. When we remain silent in the midst of evil, we allow sin to thrive and encourage the doers of evil to grow in sin. We all are like this deaf and mute man that Jesus healed in the gospel of today. Jesus has opened our ears and mouth so that we may not turn deaf ears to his Word or keep mute in the midst of evil. By listening to Jesus in the scriptures, we learn morals. And by practising these morals and speaking against sin, we expunge evil.
So, when we are afraid to speak up in midst of evil, may the divine command “Ephphatha” strengthen us to speak out. May this command rattle our consciences when everyone is scared of the truth and cannot stand up to defend the helpless. May it predispose us to listen to divine rebuke on the verge of sinful actions. And may the command “be opened” persuade us to confess our sins that we may receive God’s mercy. Jesus has set us free through this divine command. We just have to listen to our consciences to hear Jesus who calls us every day to obey him.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, open our hearts to receive your word and our mouth to proclaim it. Amen.