Be Opened!


If you paid close attention to all the prayers and readings during a baptism, you would recall the rite at the end of the ceremony called the Ephphatha prayer. During the prayer, the minister touches the ears and mouth and says, “The Lord Jesus made the deaf hear and the dumb speak. May he soon touch your ears to receive his word, and your mouth to proclaim his faith, to the praise and glory of God the Father. Amen.” The Ephphatha rite, or rite of opening the ears and mouth, reminds us of our need of God’s grace in order to hear His Word and to proclaim it to the world as we journey through life as a disciple of Christ.

Our readings this weekend help to remind us of this important aspect of living out our faith. During our baptism, we are cleansed of all sin and receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Baptism also causes grace; a form of divine help to strengthen and sustain us in our daily struggles in living a Christian life. God’s gift of grace gives us the zeal to accomplish our mission through the power of the Holy Spirit. We are not supposed to keep our faith isolated from the world, but to profess our joy in being a child of God to all those we encounter throughout our lives.

We need to pause and think how our daily encounters with family, friends, even total strangers, lead them in some measure to God. The truth is, we more effectively proclaim our Christian faith to others not through our devotions and adherence to religious practices, but in the joy and love that we express through our words and deeds as we live out our faith. Do our actions match what we say and believe? Do people see us zealous in our faith?

It’s probably been a long time since most of us were baptized, but today is a good time to renew within our hearts the Ephphatha prayer. All the baptized are called to lead souls to Christ and God has provided us with the grace that we need to achieve all that He desires of us. We cannot misuse or cast aside this great gift for doing good. As the prophet Isaiah reminds us in today’s first reading, we are to serve as a light to the nations, so that God’s salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.


Deacon Bob