REFLECTION FOR THE WEEK
“After He took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears.Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphata”, which means be opened. At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly” (Mark 7:33-35)
Beloved the ability to hear and the ability to speak are two precious gifts. And, like many other generous gifts of God we often take them for granted.
So, what does deafness do?
Deafness can lead to irritability, negativism and anger, fatigue, tension, stress and depression. The deaf often avoid or withdraw from social situations due to reduced access to services and difficulties communicating with others. There are fewer educational and job opportunities for those with hearing loss and emotional problems caused by a drop in self-esteem and confidence.
What about the gift of speech? The gift of speech is our chief means of communications with other people. Our youngest son could not speak until the age of 4 years and we found out that it affected his personality. He was classified as special need and had to be put in a class two years below his age. Always played catch-up and still playing catch-up. There were limits to whom we could visit and the social functions we could attend. People with speech impediments are often subjects of fun and amusement to others.
In the text from Mark Chapter 7 verses 33-35, which I quoted above, it tells us that Jesus cured this Gentile man who was deaf and had a speech impediment.
And the truth of the matter, my dear friends, is that many of us are not born deaf or dumb, nevertheless we have ears and yet fail to hear; and we have tongues and yet fail to speak. Worse still is to have ears and refuse to hear and to have tongues and refuse to speak. It saddens me and I find it frustrating and annoying when I see so many people, church leaders, community leaders, politicians, others, all over the world including America, who I will classify as enlightened, refuse to speak and challenge injustices, discrimination, oppression, poverty, corruption and many other serious ills of our society. These people have ears but refuse to hear and they have mouth but refuse to speak.
You see, it is not just having this two precious gifts, but the challenge is to use them well.
And, in order to use them well we need the Lord’s healing touch. It is only with the heart that we can hear rightly. If your heart is not with and right with the Lord, you will not act well. The cry of a needy person may reach your ears, but unless it reaches your heart, you will not feel the person’s pain, and it is unlikely that you will respond.
Again, it is only with our hearts that we can speak rightly. In order for our words to ring true, they must come from the heart.
Beloved, if they come from the lips, they will have a hollow sound and will have little effect.
I urge you to allow Christ to purify your heart of the badness and of all that is rotten at the core. The heart is the source from which all our thoughts, words, and deeds flow. If you allow God to make your hearts clean, then all that will flow from it will be clean, like water flowing from a pure spring.
I challenge you to allow God to transform your heart with His goodness. Remember, a pure heart is the best kind of goodness. So, let God who alone sees what is in your heart, make it into what it should be – A heart that is devoid of lust, envy, hatred and revenge. Allow God to make your heart that which is good at the core, at the foundation and which responds to the needs of others.
May the Lord open your ears always to hear the good news of the gospel and may your lips be ever ready to proclaim your faith.
May you have an enlightening week.With blessings,
Venerable Prebendary Tunde Roberts