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Sunday, September 7, 2003

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23rd Sunday Ordinary Time

Isaiah 35:4-7
James 2:1-5
Psalm 146
Mark 7:31-37

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the grandest opening

"Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared." —Isaiah 35:5

Jesus emitted a groan and said: " 'Ephphatha!' (that is, 'Be opened!')" (Mk 7:34) Through this prayer, Jesus opened the ears and mouth of "a deaf man who had a speech impediment" (Mk 7:32). But there are greater and grander openings than these.

At the end of the Old Testament, the Lord promised that when we obeyed Him by tithing, He would open for us "the floodgates of heaven, to pour down blessing upon [us] without measure" (Mal 3:10). But there are greater and grander openings.

The grandest opening is to open "the door of faith" (Acts 14:27), that is, to open our hardened hearts (see 2 Cor 6:13). In this way, the "door to heaven" is opened for us (Rv 4:1).

We speak of an open mind, open enrollment, open arteries, the open man, open bowling, open bar, etc. The word "open" is at the entrances of hundreds of thousands of businesses. Yet all these openings mean nothing unless we have hearts open to the Lord. If you open your heart when Jesus says "Ephphatha!", He will open the gates of heaven when you say: "Ephphatha!"

Prayer:  Father, I will open my heart and You will fill it.

Promise:  "Did not God choose those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom He promised to those who love Him?" —Jas 2:5

Praise:  "Praise the Lord, O my soul; I will praise the Lord all my life" (Ps 146:1-2).

Reference:  (Open your heart to biblical counseling by ordering our tapes Biblical Counseling on audio AV 13A-1, AV 13A-3, AV 13B-1 or our two-part video series that starts with V-13A.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard L. Klug, February 27, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 3, 2003