Today we celebrate the life and homecoming of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, one of the world’s most famous “mothers.” A wonderful reflection of her life can be found at Catholic Fire.
Mother was an unmistakable sign of the love of God turned loose in the world, touching the lives of those who were least able to reciprocate her ministrations. We see this kind of compassion over and over again in the life of Christ.
From Sunday’s Gospel (Mark 7:31-37)
And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment
and begged him to lay his hand on him.
He took him off by himself away from the crowd.
He put his finger into the man’s ears
and, spitting, touched his tongue;
then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him,
“Ephphatha!”— that is, “Be opened!” —
And immediately the man’s ears were opened,
his speech impediment was removed,
and he spoke plainly.
Jesus’ healing miracle was a wonderful fulfillment of Isaiah 35, which reads in part . . .
“Then will the eyes of the blind be opened,
the ears of the deaf be cleared;
then will the lame leap like a stag,
then the tongue of the mute will sing.”
This connection between word and act, between promise and fulfillment, is seen clearly in this passage. The healing itself was miraculous . . . but it was not an end unto itself. It was always intended to be a sign, pointing those who witnessed it to a greater and higher reality.
Every person that Jesus ever healed would die one day of some other cause. Our time here on earth is truly a gift . . . and yet, it is also a sign of something better that is to come. That’s not to say we should walk around with a death wish, for life is also full of wonder and blessing. But we should never lose sight of the fact that this, too, is temporary.
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Photo Credit: Dave Burke’s blog (Also click on this link to read an interesting meditation on the meaning of the Aramaic word “Ephphatha!”