“Ephphatha!”— that is, “Be opened!”

Image by JJ

Homily for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Scriptures for today

Are there some things you and I just don’t want to hear?

I know there are things I don’t want to hear...
• I don’t want to hear bad news.
• I don’t want to hear words that hurt me.
• I don’t always want to hear the truth about myself.
• And when I’m really convinced that I’m right -
.....I don’t want to hear that I’m wrong.
• I don’t want to hear myself being called
.....to do something I don’t really want to do.
• And as much as I believe
.....I want to know what God is thinking,
...I don’t always want to hear what God has to say -
.....especially when I think I’m right about something
.....and God thinks I’m wrong.
Very often, I just don’t hear what I don’t want to hear
because I screen out what I don’t want to hear.

I think this has been a problem since my youth
when my parents used to tell me I had “selective hearing!”

It’s interesting that in today’s gospel Jesus heals the deaf man
by putting his finger in the man's ears.
The deafness of “selective hearing” is cured
not so much by putting fingers in your ears,
but, rather, by taking them out.

In spite of hearing aids and ear phones and ear buds
and stereo and surround-sound speakers of all kinds -
all letting us listen to just about anything we want to hear,
wherever we are -
still, ours is a generation that often turns a deaf ear
to the Lord’s voice.

Perhaps the miracle we need the Lord to work for us today
is for him to take our fingers out of our own ears
that we might hear the voice and the Word of God.

Let me go back to my original question:
“Are there some things you and I just don’t want to hear?”

Are there some things God might be trying to tell us
that we just don’t want to hear?

I’ll close my homily with a prayer I wrote
as I reflected on my own “selective hearing.”
It might be a prayer you will find helpful, too.
Open my ears, Lord,
...and teach me to listen to what I hear...

Open my ears to your voice,
...to your Word,
...to your truth, to your law...

Open my ears to your calling my name...

Open my ears to the hard sayings I don’t want to hear...

Open my ears to the truth about myself...

Open my ears when you judge me, correct me,
...forgive me and tell me of your love...

Open my ears to hear what you ask of me,
Open my ears to the cry of the poor...

Open my ears to the voices of family and friends.
Open my ears to the whispers of your Holy Spirit
...guiding me along the right path...

Open my ears to the silence
...of your presence in my heart...

Open my ears to the prayer of those around me...

Open my ears to the breaking of the bread at your table,
...to the pouring of wine into cups...

Open my ears
...and let me hear in the breaking and the pouring
...the gift of your life being offered that I might live...

Open my ears to your love, Lord,
...and nourish me with faith and strength and courage
...to speak, to sing, to shout, to share
...the Word you speak,
...the Word I hear...



  1. Nice work. I came across your blog while “blog surfing” using the Next Blog button on the blue Nav Bar located at the top of my blogger.com site. I frequently just travel around looking for other blogs which exist on the Internet, and the various, creative ways in which people express themselves. Thanks for sharing.

    P.S. We recently posted an article about the importance of fathers, which you may find to be of interest.

  2. yes, I am finding it VERY hard to hear that some things I feel would be good to do (for others, myself, etc), really are "bad", and not what God wants me to do.

    excellent homily- thank you.

  3. Always graeful to read the homily when I have been away for teh weekend. Excellent. We w ere on teh Cape and the liturgy was sub-par to HFP liturgy. Always good to come home.


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and PRAY before you think!