When Jesus says to the man who is deaf and has a speech impediment ‘Be opened!’, it might seem that his words are addressed to the man’s ears and tongue. But on another level, Jesus is speaking to the man’s heart. In fact, he puts his fingers in the man’s ears, shutting out the confusing external sounds that the man cannot interpret and directing his attention inwards, to his heart, where God is speaking words of healing to him.
The saying ‘There’s none so blind as those who will not see’ has a great deal of truth in it. We all have areas of denial in our lives: things about us that we know deep down to be true, but we prefer not to think about, perhaps because we are afraid of having to change. Sometimes there’s just so much going on in our lives that we don’t have time to stop and notice the important things. Sometimes we need Jesus to come and put his fingers into our ears, to stop the noise for a while and help us listen to what is really important.
The same is true of our sight: we are bombarded with thousands of words and images every hour, on screens of every size as well as on paper and in the real world around us, but how often do we take the time to really look at a thing, taking in all its beauty and complexity, or to really look at a person, recognising their joy and their pain?
What we see and hear on the surface tends to be the differences between things and between people. What we discover when we pay close attention to ourselves, to others and to the world around us, is that we belong to each other, because God our loving Father has created everything and each person.
The prophet Isaiah tells us it is God’s work to open the eyes of the blind and unseal the ears of the deaf, to make the lame leap and the dumb sing for joy, to make water gush in the desert and turn parched land into springs of water. Let’s ask the Lord to unlock the healing power of his love within us so that we can ‘be opened’.