Opening the Word
When it comes to people it is very difficult for us not to make distinctions. We invariable favour some over others. We choose some and not others. A man chooses one woman to be his wife out of several he may have come to know. A woman chooses one man to be her husband. We choose our friends, and some people choose their friends carefully. Parents will favour their own children over other children. It is natural and human to make distinctions.
In this morning’s 2nd Reading, James calls on church members not to show favour on the basis of wealth or social class, or to defer only to the better off
One of the problems for the hearing impaired is that crowded situations, even a meeting where more than one speaks at once, can overwhelm their hearing aid. There is not one but many sources of sound coming at them and technology simply cannot isolate the sound you wish to tune into from all the others.
One can only wonder for the man whose ears were closed and tongue was silenced- what was it like when Jesus touched and healed?
Having been unable to hear, a whole new world of sound and speech is now open to him.
What was closed is now open. This is what happens when Jesus heals us. What was closed is open. So what is closed in us?
Sometimes we’re definitely listening but selectively hearing. There are many jokes about males and females with the former being accused of selectively hearing the latter. Or the man who went home with his hearing completely restored with a New device. One month later when the GP said how pleased his family must be with the restoring of hearing- his patient confessed he didn’t tell anyone, just listened to conversations and changed his last Will and Testament three times! As the quantity of communication has increased- perhaps the quality has decreased. We increasingly tend to live in echo-chambers of communication. Where we interact with people who think like us and in so-called “social media” terms we can shield out/mute/block/unfollow/unfriend
We are resistant and our resistance closes us in on ourselves. We don’t want a new world opened to us. Sometimes we are content to keep things just the way they are. It’s easier that way as change hurts and we may feel that we have changed enough already.
Our Second Reading names it directly as being judgemental and shutting our eyes and ears to one (usually the poor) whilst welcoming the rich. When we make distinctions among ourselves we close ourselves to the gift that each person is.
Being closed shows itself in stubbornness, addiction, fixations, anger, hostility, restlessness and complacency. Shut in and shut out, but God [First Reading] is having none of it. He opens what is closed and clears what is blocked.
What do we need healed? It may be physical of course, but for many it is healing from the hurts of life. The whole Pandora’s Box of distress, unhappiness, worries, anxieties and conflicts need His touch and we need to be opened up as we are closed.
Healing from a feeling of distress or unhappiness. Healing from worry about the future. Healing from anxiety about a family member or friend. Healing because of an unresolved issue or conflict that’s gnawing away inside.
To all this Jesus says “Be Opened”