10th FEBRUARY 2023

Jesus Looked up to Heaven and said to Him, “Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”)  - Mark 7:31-37 - Bible Verse of the Day



Memorial of Saint Scholastica, Virgin


Gn 3: 1-8;       Ps 32: 1-2, 5-7;     Mk 7: 31-37




Israel was a prosperous country. Many citizens of the nation were extremely wealthy. A sizable section of this wealthy class also were tax collectors. Even though money and prosperity were inherently regarded as blessings, these obscenely wealthy tax collectors were viewed as society’s bane. Such an attitude reigned precisely because of the source of their income. The majority of the money amassed by the tax collectors came from defrauding and extorting the poor.

This compels us to consider that even though we may enjoy or use some intrinsically good elements, its quality should be considered in the light of the source from which it originates. Thinking in this line, we have a stark contrast in the reading and the Gospel of today. The word ephpheta (be opened) though said only once, can be seen in action in both readings. In the Gospel, Jesus frees the man who was deaf and dumb by opening his ears and mouth. Whereas, the first reading depicts the first parents having their eyes opened; this action emanates from an evil source: the devil, and an evil action: disobedience. The contrast is even accentuated further by the effects it produces. The deaf and dumb man, after he is released from his bondage, he goes on telling about Jesus. As opposed to this, Adam and Eve fear God, run away from him and perceive themselves to be naked. From the effects, we can deduce a conclusion regarding the equity of the action.

In our human lives we too experience such dichotomy. But let’s not discard the lesson today’s readings give us: if these benefits come to us from a bad source, it will cost us, it will shame us before God’s eyes, and it will eventually force us to run away from him. The benefits we enjoy in life, if they stem from true spiritual richness and from a heart that is anchored in Jesus, will become for us a way of announcing the glory of God in our lives. Today we are invited to strive for the same.

Response: Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven.

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