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Friday, February 13, 2004

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1 Kings 11:29-32; 12:19
Psalm 81
Mark 7:31-37

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from healing to baptism to healing

"Their amazement went beyond all bounds: 'He has done everything well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak!' " —Mark 7:37

Jesus healed people physically as a sign of healing people spiritually. He opened the ears of the deaf and freed the tongues of the dumb and speech-impaired as a sign that He would open our ears so that we can have a greater faith and open our mouths to proclaim that faith (see Mk 7:35).

Our spiritual deafness, dumbness, blindness, and paralysis are worse than terminal. They are potentially damning. We are in impossible circumstances. We live in incurable, potentially devastating spiritual conditions. However, Jesus is our Hope, our only Hope, and His continuing ministry of healing expresses that hope and points to its fulfillment in the sacrament of Baptism.

Healing accompanies the proclamation of the gospel, leading to faith and Baptism (see Mk 16:17-18). Then Baptism leads us to receiving and giving Jesus' ministry of healing, which further leads us to participate in Jesus' ministry of hope leading others to faith, salvation, and Baptism.

At Baptism, we pray Jesus' prayer "Ephphatha" (see Mk 7:34). This is the ultimate opening. The baptized have spiritually opened ears, mouths, eyes, and hearts. May healing lead to and from Baptism.

Prayer:  Father, send the Holy Spirit to guide me more deeply into the mystery of Baptism.

Promise:  Jesus "put His fingers into the man's ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then He looked up to heaven and emitted a groan. He said to him, 'Ephphatha!' (that is, 'Be opened!')" —Mk 7:33-34

Praise:  Celebrating Baptism days together is one of the highlights of Roberto's home-based community.

Reference:  (For this coming Lent, order several tapes to grow in holiness. For a complete list, order our Audio/Video Tape Catalog.)  

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard Walling, July 18, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 24, 2003